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A man goes to the doctor and says, “I feel like a bottle of champagne that’s been left open and lost its fizz. You know, a little stale and flat.”

The doctor says, “I prescribe a daily dose of zaniness.”

That’s the prescription in today’s excerpt from The Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart, edited by Robert Bly, James Hillman and Michael Meade:

 The gift of zaniness is one of the great gifts that human beings have…How stale and flat the day when nothing zany happens. How badly we need jokes: the old Sunday funnies; the comic strips and cartoons; Krazy Kat; Buster Keaton; Stan Laurel; Harpo Marx under his curls and hat squeezing his bulb-horn honker…The spirit wants to leap with the joy of young kids—both goat and human—to change direction in midair. It is as if the spirit at its freshest and most free is zany.”

It’s true, our spirits can go flat like that champagne. So, this week—in the interest of keeping your spirit fresh and free—you have permission to do something zany.

Look in the mirror and laugh at yourself.

Break into a dance to break up an argument.

Share some (appropriate) jokes at work.

Take someone to lunch that you would never think of taking to lunch. Listen to their story and make them laugh.

Sing in the tub.

Have an extended, involved conversation with a three-year-old.

As William Saroyan, the playwright wrote:

“Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell…Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”