I would like to introduce you to Fang Li Yun, a 52-year-old Malaysian pharmacist of 24 years. She is part of what they call the “Funny Action” project, which helps people learn to laugh and to smile even when there is no good news to smile about.
Like so many other people, Fang Li Yun thought happiness would follow her income, and as a pharmacist she was making good money.
But in 2006 she discovered clowning and discovered there was more happiness to be achieved. This lead to a mission or pilgrimage of sorts with Hunter Doherty “Patch Adams” and a group of thirty other people from various countries to Mexico last year. Together they visited patients, the homeless, the elderly, shut-ins and HIV-infected people while dressed in their best clown attire
What made the biggest difference? In 2008, a friend of hers who was president of a breast cancer support group, asked her this question: “The happiness a clown brings to people is only momentary. How are you going to make the happiness last?”
Now she teaches people how to laugh: “Everyone is born with the ability to laugh. Laughter is the best medicine and an effective way of fighting illnesses. Based on statistics, babies can laugh up to 400-500 times a day, while adults laugh an average of only 14 to 15 times a day.”
Fringe benefits of clowning around include increased self-confidence and reduced stress. Fang Li Yun discovered that whenever she focuses on making other people happy, she also experiences a surge of joy and forgets all her worries and cares.
And she is still a pharmacist.
This post was included in the That Girl Is Funny Blog Carnival.