New Zealand was lucky to have a visit from John-Paul Bell talking about humour as a therapy. Humour Therapy- is it directed at “quality of life, saving money, more jokes - fewer drugs”? The answer, all of these and more. This is real therapy (there is an improvement in the subject’s state) that has been validated by research. There is a moving video report about this research from the University of New South Wales. We found this all rather heartening because we are aiming at the same effects with very similar methods in drama therapy. We have also observed similar ‘dose effects’ with engagement increase with each session of a programme and slow tail off of effect afterwards.
As the recession continues some
worrying divisions in our communities seem to be getting bigger. It
isn't just the gap between rich and poor, clashes of religion or
race, I have now heard several well educated and informed people talk
about the way older people are “Taking away resources” from the
young. I can only be amazed at supposedly intelligent people who want
mandatory retirement at 65 to enable unemployed youth to have jobs –
don't even think about skill levels and experience – whilst
begrudging retirement pensions to the selfish elderly who won't work.
I can't tell you how depressed and
worried this makes me. If this is the standard of thinking that
prevails then New Zealand is in dire straits indeed.
We are all part of our country and we
must remember that the true judge of any nation is how it provides
for its most vulnerable – the very young, the ill and the elderly
All of the current infrastructure was
paid for by by the taxes of the older generation as part of a long
term view of building this country. Each generation makes its own
contribution. If we descend into having the old compete with the
young it is not only a specious, shallow and vicious piece of
thinking, it also reflects a complete lack of any commitment to the
future of this country and the in ability to think past the next
Each group has its own real and
pressing needs. It is the job of the government – any government –
to lead the goal setting and work out the resourcing, not to set
groups against each other by implying that to fund one detracts fron
If ever we needed cohesion, it is now.
So please do not by into this baseless,
shameful view. It is only one step from talking about the “deserving
poor” and even the Victorians rejected this eventually.