May 8, 2014

Angie Ceraso on the power of laughter

May 8, 2014 Joyce Marie Taylor Suwannee Democrat

Mayo — Milton E. “Angie” Ceraso of Mayo recently expounded on the benefits of laughter. He said after several medical incidents he and his wife Dolores have been through lately, the need to have a sense of humor and laugh about life’s little roadblocks to happiness was crucial.

“I’ve always prided myself on having a good sense of humor,” said Ceraso. “I like to have fun and laugh.”

Ceraso quoted a portion of Proverbs 17:22 from the Bible that states, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”

“I believe laughter is one of the greatest gifts ever given,” Ceraso said. “From medical studies we have learned that laughter can relieve stress and lower blood pressure. Laughter also increases pain tolerance and bolsters the immune system.”

When you get home from a rough day at work, sit back, relax and have yourself a laugh, Ceraso continued. He said it’s good medicine, you won’t feel any pain and you won’t catch anything.

“We need to laugh more in this old world because there’s enough bad things going around to keep us down,” said Ceraso. “I found out a long time ago that you can’t laugh and worry at the same time.”

Ceraso said Will Rogers, an American cowboy, vaudevillian, actor, humorist and social commentator, and one of the world's best-known celebrities from the 20s and 30s, always had something to say about any situation.

“He once said we’re on this earth for a short time, so for Heaven’s sakes, folks, have a few laughs and don’t take things so seriously, especially yourself,” Ceraso quoted.

Ceraso said when God created the world he probably looked down and thought he’d better create laughter so that people could deal with all the bad things that were going to happen. Ceraso clarified that people shouldn’t laugh at one another, but at the things they say and do.

“There’s a difference,” he said. “Human nature and all its ramifications are amazing when you think about it.”

Statistics, he said, don’t lie.

“I read where one out of every three people is ugly,” he said, trying to stifle his laughter. “What you do is look at the person on your right and the one on your left, and if they’re OK, then you’re it,” he added, still trying his best not to laugh.

Ceraso recalled a time when he was a guest speaker at a Rotary club in Pensacola. A reporter was in attendance and he asked her not to print any of his humorous anecdotes in her article because he didn’t want to spoil it for the folks in other Rotary clubs he would be visiting, since he’d be telling the same stories. She agreed to his request.

“The article came out in the paper the next morning saying, “Yesterday District Governor Angie Ceraso spoke to the Pensacola Rotary Club and told several stories that couldn’t be printed in the paper,”” Ceraso said, laughing.

He swore it was a true story and he had no choice but to laugh about it at the time.

In closing, Ceraso said, “I must tell you, there will be a test. It won’t be given today and it won’t be given by me. The test will be given by life. If you have learned to laugh, you’ll have passed the test and life will be a lot easier and a lot more fun. So, look for laughter and when you find it, it will make your load a whole lot easier. I can personally attest to that because you don’t know how proud I am to be here.”

Ceraso is a proud member of the Rotary Club of Mayo. In keeping with his earlier wishes with the Pensacola reporter, this Mayo Free Press reporter won’t print the other jokes Ceraso told, just in case he wants to repeat them at a future gathering.

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