"To Err Is Human"

Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D

This article is dedicated to the value of humor, so don't take it too seriously. Take some time to laugh at yourself and the mistakes you made in the past. By the time you finish this article you will find out what's wrong with you and those people who upset you.

Psychologist Hank Robb has designed a test to help us with the task at hand. I have modified it a little for the sake of brevity. When you answer "True" or "False" to the following 10 statements, you will better understand yourself and the other people around you:

1. While I sometimes feel quite capable of handling life's problems, at other times, I feel I can't.

2. I strongly feel that the world should treat me fairly and I get quite upset if it doesn't.

3. While I sometimes cope fairly well with the failures, at other times I feel hopeless and think I am no good.

4. While I recognize that some of my past behavior was foolish, I sometimes do the same sort of thing again when the opportunity presents itself.

5. While I often cope fairly well with certain life frustrations, at other times, I get in quite a "tizzy."

6. While I often force myself to do what is wise in the long run despite the difficulties, certain problems are just too hard and I refuse to take any action.

7. While I am often hopeful about the future, at other times I doubt anything I do will make a difference.

8. While I often recognize that many people in the world have problems worse than mine, I often act as if I have got the worst luck and worst problems in the world.

9. At times, when others point out how things could be worse for me than they are, I think they are only minimizing my problems and not taking me seriously.

10. I usually know I shouldn't set my goals unrealistically high, but sometimes I get carried away and when I fall short I feel thoroughly disappointed with myself.

If you are over 18-years-old and said "true" for even one statement, you should know that you've got the disease. The name of this disease is ACOH, "Adult Children Of Humans." Unfortunately, it is a life-time disease; patients never completely recover. In the past, they tried for 80, 100 or even more years to get rid of this condition, but they could only partly recover from it. To date, to the best of our knowledge, all individuals identified with ACOH have continued to be so classified.

Like any chronic condition, an ACOH patient has to learn to live with it and find ways to cope with the limitations this disease imposes on them. Hank Robert, who originally diagnosed the condition, offers the following advice:

"With effort, ACOH can learn to accept, rather than condemn themselves, and by doing so, live relatively satisfying, if endlessly fallible, lives."

In these times, people are struggling to find their identity. They want to know the group they can belong to, and the label they can wear. The search for identity has given us such groups as the "Adult Children Of Alcoholics," "Adults Abused As Children" and the "Children Of Abusive Parents." Now, with the discovery of the "Adult Children Of Humans," no one needs to feel left out. "There is room in here for everyone' and so is the hope. Therefore, on such occasions when you feel "totally incompetent," "a total failure" or "Nothing I do seems to please anybody," remind yourself that you suffer from the condition called "ACOH." So, let it echo in your mind for a while. Find something to laugh about. The subject of laughter could be you, why not?

Laughing is "inner jogging," says Norman Cousins. It's a work out. A hundred laughs equal ten minutes on a rowing machine. You can double your heart rate while laughing. Several studies show that laughing lessens the need for pain medication and shortens recuperation time. Cousins reported that 15 minutes of belly laughter reduced his pain for two hours. Laughter lowers Cortisol, a stress hormone that can weaken the immune system. In one study, watching a humorous video for 60 minutes significantly increased the level of interferon-gamma, a hormone that fights viruses and regulates cell growth.

The average 4-year old child laughs 400 times a day but an average adult laughs only 13. Why so? Because adults have nightmares about being viewed foolish, silly or childish by others.

Return to Self Help 

Copyright 2000, Mind Publications 


Click for Dr. Sharma's credentials
Dr. Vijai Sharma
Your Life Coach
By Telephone

Feedback- Let us know how we are doing

Terms and Conditions

Web site designed and maintained by Chanda Taylor