Does My Kid Know Latin?

“Wit is the sudden marriage of ideas which before their union were not perceived to have any relation”

Mark Twain

Roommates Jim and Rick with Gary and Parents at Graduation

Graduation day at Princeton finally arrived. It was a beautiful spring day in 1979 and for someone who started out his freshman year on academic probation, I was relieved and happy just to be there. We were all seated in folding chairs in a beautiful area called Cannon Green. It was outside and the parents and family were all seated in bleachers surrounding us in a horseshoe fashion.

The valedictorian delivered his speech in its entirety in Latin. Our parents were unaware that we were given a cheat sheet of the speech with coded icons representing emotional expressions. I don’t remember the indexing but for example, the number one might have meant to applaud, number two to sigh, number three to laugh, etc.

The result of this conspiracy against our parents was that they thought we understood what the speaker was saying. I know my parents must have had a moment when they said “Holy cow! son speaks Latin!  Of course we thought it was the best spoof ever because we had no idea what the guy was saying. I have always loved that graduation ceremony.

The HighFive Your Life principle to consider is that it is great to have fun despite the seemingly serious nature of everything around us. Laughter and wit are welcomed and needed in our busy and hectic days. Isn’t it nice when someone enters into your “space” who you know is going to be the life of the party, make everyone laugh, engage in clever conversation and bring a lift to the whole evening? Where there is a wit there is a way.

There is a difference between crude and obnoxious behavior that creates attention through the shock of what is said and good old-fashioned clever and funny word smithing. Some people have it naturally and for some it is a gift that can be developed. Either way, its good to lighten things up because laughter really is the best medicine.

HighFive Your Life Principle: Loosen your tie or skirt and your smile muscles. Don’t be so serious about life and the events of the day that you can’t enjoy a good laugh.

Please share stories from your life regarding this principle. If you would like to follow the weekly blog, please press the “follow” prompt. Thank you for keeping your comments appropriate for all readers.  





2 thoughts on “Does My Kid Know Latin?”

  1. wit is also a great way to relieve tension or hostility. A negotiation loses hostility if a party keeps a sense of humor.

  2. Great story! I thought Princeton was “oh so serious”. Laughter is one of God’s special gifts. Don’t keep it in…………LAUGH OUT LOUD! Life is so much better when you find humor in all the junk that happens.

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