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Be Thankful for the Sense of Humor That Lets You Laugh About What Isn't Really So Funny The reversible thumb and the capacity to laugh at situations you'd prefer you weren't mired in are two attributes unique to humans.

By Jeff Boss Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL Training (BUD/S) was one of the best-worst times of my life. By best-worst I mean that being pushed to the physical, emotional and mental extremes definitely rated a one on the one-to-ten fun scale (one is the worst). However, at the end of the day -- and even years later -- those of us who endured reflect and laugh incredulous at the day, the random comments by instructors, the camaraderie developed amongst each boat crew and the sarcasm that evolved out of a need to see the positive.

This last point is important since it's so easy to add fuel to the fire of complaint -- it's not so easy to propose solutions, and even more difficult to implement them. So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we should all give thanks to the one thing we all have (well, most of us) that nobody else can take away: our sense of humor.

Related: Humor Them. A Well-Timed Laugh Speaks Volumes.

If you really think about it, "Thanksgiving is a magical time of year when families across the country join together to raise America's obesity statistics. Personally, I love Thanksgiving traditions: watching football, making pumpkin pie, and saying the magic phrase that sends your aunt storming out of the dining room to sit in her car." (Stephen Colbert).

Ah, magical. Who isn't awe-inspired by magic -- or the emotion triggered seeing a lady continue smiling after being sawed into four equal parts? To that end, "Thanksgiving is [also] an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often." (Johnny Carson)

Related: How to Use Humor at Work Without Acting Like a Jerk

Of course, with the emotional nature of the holidays also comes the physical. After eating more food than any human should eat in one sitting things can become, well, uncomfortable. No, "Thanksgiving, [man, is] not a good day to be my [or anybody else's] pants." (Kevin James)

Stuffing your face silly because it's expected can make for a really bad Thanksgiving for you and everyone around you. If you follow David Letterman's top ten ten signs of a bad Thanksgiving, you'll have a good gauge for where your turkey day falls on the fun meter:

10. "You ran out of booze by 11 a.m."
9. "Most frequently used word at dinner: Heimlich."
8. "Meal was leftovers from last Thanksgiving"
7. "Thanks to new electric knife, kids fought over wishbone and your severed thumb."
6. "The 'turkey' was wearing a dog collar."
5. "Spent day in Times Square waiting for the giant turkey to drop."
4. "Woke up from tryptophan-induced sleep to find yourself naked in the driveway."
3. "When dinner came out, so did your son."
2. "Laura and the twins lock you out."
1. "Your turkey dinner was the only breast you've touched all year."

If you don't think that list is funny then I just don't know what to say. Of course, everybody thinks they have a good sense of humor, until they get punched in the face. (adapted from Mike Tyson)

Related: Sarcasm Poses Problem for Computer Algorithms in U.S. Election

Jeff Boss

Leadership Team Coach, Author, Speaker

Jeff Boss is the author of two books, team leadership coach and former 13-year Navy SEAL where his top awards included four Bronze Stars with valor and two Purple Hearts. Visit him online at

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