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Black Tie Health and Wellness 1

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Black Tie International Magazine:Wellness - Abe Shainberg

Abe Shainberg

Abe Shainberg


Why Joy ?   
Why Not Just Join the Miserable?



5 reasons:

1.       It’s Healthier

2.       It’s more spiritual

3.       It helps those around you

4.       It helps the world

5.       It works to cure the ills that are plaguing us



1.       Why is joy healthier? Isn’t it better to get the anger and frustration out of your system when it seems that the sky is falling? Yes, for a moment, but as a general rule -  if you sit in misery, it spreads and you become despondent and depressed. Then you need medication. Then the people around you – your spouse, mate, friend, child, boss, employee and the mailman gets depressed or frustrated dealing with you.

You look like a grouch -  like you’ve been sucking on lemons or pickles all afternoon. Then why bother with plastic surgery?  Just to frown all day and ruin a good doctor’s reputation? Cancer patients are given comedies like the Three Stooges and the I Love Lucy show to watch. And they actually get better. It may not help cure the disease but it certainly allows for a more pleasant patient. It has been proven that laughter makes sick people recover faster and more fully.

But a sick patient is one thing.

Our sick economy is another.

The economy may need to recover – and it will. Believe.

But you as an individual need to wait for it to recover and do your own thing. Whatever that is.

You are not sick – just shocked from the loss of a job or your cash or the news.

Get over it.

In surveys taken on happiness, do we industrialized, economically powerful countries ever win?

Are you kidding?

We’re not even close.

Places in third world countries like desert or mountainous regions seem to have the happiest people. And it’s because everyone has the same net worth. So no more keeping up with the Joneses. Or the Chullis or the Mehtas or the Achmandidijads. Well you get the idea.

I heard a 97 year old make a speech about old age – the best part of old age she said –“No peer pressure!.”




2.  Joy is more spiritual because being spiritual involves being grateful for being alive. It doesn’t matter who you’re grateful to. God, the Lord, the Universe, The Yankees, Madonna, your doctor or your mother. Be grateful you had a mother. Even your mother.

When you wake up each morning and you can enjoy food, drink, meditation, other people, your work and hobbies, music, film, art, theater and sports – be grateful. Thank people when they help you. Thank people for being themselves. Hey - nice job doorman, thanks for helping me with the door. Hey – thanks cabbie for driving me so quickly to my destination and not playing Afghani music and getting into an accident.

3.       It helps those around you. When you smile the world smiles with you. What you never heard this expression? Well it’s true. Miserable people make others miserable. You be the shining light. That doesn’t mean you have to be Pollyanna. Just be yourself. That other self. The one that’s nice.

And don’t bother people. They have enough worries without you.

Reminds me of the story where the lady of the house answers the doorbell and a man tells her he’s the piano tuner. “Well, I didn’t order a piano tuner”, she says. “I know – your neighbors did!.”

       It helps the world. And here you thought you couldn’t make a difference. You don’t have to meditate on top of a mountain. You don’t have to take Kabbalah classes. You don’t have to find a cure for cancer. You don’t have to find a cure for the world’s economy. Just be joyful in your new pared down expectation of life and spread the cheer. Then your friends and neighbors spread it and they spread it as well to other cities and countries and to outer space where the aliens can become nicer as well. At least they won’t invade us and steal our chickens.

5.       It works to cure the ills that are plaguing us.

And those ills are not all economical. Buy less; need less material things. Want more things that count – like love, respect, hope, caring, trust, culture and giving. You can help so many charities with your time and devotion. You can visit the sick or call your old friends and family. Now you actually may have the time. Look up in the sky – it may be Superman or a greater power. You have that greater power within you.

Use it wisely – BE JOYFUL.


E-mail Abe at




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