By Amanda Heersink | University Communications
DENVER - Patch Adams founded the Gesundheit Institute
, a free clinic, in 1971 with hopes of giving medical care to those who really needed it. Since then, Adams has traveled around the world talking about health care as well as ‘clowning’ to bring light into people’s lives.
“I have reached the conclusion that humor is vital in healing the problems of individuals, communities and societies” said Adams.
The CU Denver Student Life
office, as well as the student life offices for Metro State University and Community College of Denver, brought Adams to the Tivoli Turnhalle today to talk about what it means 'to lead a life of joy.' Adams said that you can never have a bad day again simply by choosing to be happy.
“Happiness is a choice,” said Adams, “You wake up and you decide to be happy or you can let the world decide for you.” He added, “It is an insult to life to not be grateful.”
Adams said all a person needs in life is food and a friend, everything else is additional. “It only takes ten minutes to start a friendship,” he said, “Just sit and listen for five minutes and then talk for five minutes.”
Adams spoke about the idea of communal living and that humans are creatures of community which is something that we have lost in the last century.
Adams also spoke about the state of our world saying that governments are in disarray and the environment is dying.
For the last hour of Adams’ talk, he opened the floor to questions. Many in the crowd were curious about how to make a difference in today’s world. “Just decide you can make a difference,” was Adams’ advice. There were a few in the audience who disagreed with some of his ideas, but Adams was not deterred.
After Adams’ talk on the downtown campus, he headed to the Anschutz Medical Campus to talk with students about the importance of doing medicine because "they enjoy it and not for the money that can be involved."
Adams also took a group of five select students to Children’s Hospital Colorado for ‘clowning’ with children there. The five students were selected by Student Life after writing an essays about 'why they would enjoy ‘clowning’ and what it would bring to them.'