"I have always had a sneaky admiration for anyone who is able to meet life head on in all its unpredictable circumstances, and when the occasion warrants it, ' Stick their tongue out at life.'
My late friend, the author Stan Barstow, once told me over a meal that he became much more relaxed in himself once he learned to see the funnier side of life's daily problems. His advice was 'not to be too damn serious because life is too short to be constrained by civility and good manners.'
During the many hundreds of 'Anger Management and Assertive Training Groups' I operated in Probation Offices, hostels, hospitals, psychiatric wards, prisons, community halls and educational establishments between 1970 and 2,000, I always began session one of my programmes by asking each member of the group to look into the face of the person on each side of them and to pull their funniest face they could and stick out their tongue. It was surprising how many group members would initially prove unable to perform this simple task due to embarrassment etc.
Upon their inability to comply with my request, my next statement to the group would be,' The changes in your life and in your behaviour pattern cannot be achieved unless you do this. Until you are able to stick a tongue out at life, you will never possess the courage to face it or acquire the skill and capacity to change it. So unless you can stick out your tongue and pull a funny face in the next few minutes please leave the group now because I won't be able to help you bring about the changes in your behavior that you desire.'
With the exception of a handful of people I had to ask to leave over a thirty-year time span, over one thousand group members stuck out their tongues.It really is therapeutic, believe me!" William Forde: April 7th, 2015.