Finding Hope Through Humor

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By Ken Chapman, Ph.D.
Ken Chapman & Associates, Inc.
President Ronald Reagan’s popularity in the polls rose and fell like a roller coaster. Shortly after an attempt was made to assassinate him, his ratings soared to nearly ninety percent, the highest on record. But one year later when the U. S. economy was still mired in recession, his approval ratings had plummeted to a low of thirty percent. Every other week, Dick Wirthlin, the president’s pollster, reported the ratings to the president and he now had the unhappy task of telling Reagan the disturbing news.
“How are they? What do the figures look like?” Reagan asked.
“They are pretty bad, Mr. President. How bad are they? Well, they are as low as they can get,” Wirthlin answered.
“So, what do you mean?” pressed the president.
“Well, they are about thirty-two percent,” replied Wirthlin.
“ Anything lower than that in the second year of the presidency?” Reagan asked.
“I think that’s the lowest,” Wirthlin replied.
Just then Reagan’s face brightened and he smiled. “Dick, don’t worry. I’ll just go out there and try to get shot again.”
The president had a knack of bringing self-effacing humor into his problems which made them easier to handle. Humor has a way of helping us to find hope and hope has a way of helping us move on.

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