April 19, 2013

We need to laugh

"Oh, dear, I cannot tease you about that. What a shame, for I dearly love to laugh."

I once met someone, whom after knowing me for only 5 minutes, said that I reminded him of Elizabeth Bennet, citing the quote above.  In response, naturally, I laughed as I realized that it was true.  I dearly love to laugh.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized the depth of my love for laughter and what a gift it is.

I can't imagine anyone going a day without laughing, though I suppose there are some who do so.  To the best of my knowledge, that has never happened to me.  Even on my grumpiest days, even when I am determined to remain stone faced and cold, something always occurs that breaks down my walls and causes me to smile.  I've often been teased about the fact that I frequently laugh at my computer.  Usually when I say "lol" in response to a funny picture or something on the internet, I really do laugh out loud.  What can I say?  I dearly love to laugh.

They say laughter can cure diseases and make you live longer, and I am inclined to believe that.  Laughter certainly is necessary for survival.  Just look at the events of the last few days.  A bomb went off in Boston and the city is in lockdown to find the culprit.  A day later, a factory exploded in Texas.  Not a day after that, Chicagoland was hit by torrential rains and record floods and the Governor declared a state of emergency.  In times like this, we need to laugh.

Laughter as a response to tragedy seems cold and unfeeling, but everyone needs something to lift their spirits.  Something to make them smile and give them the strength to carry on for just that much longer.  No matter how dark and depressing things get, we need to find that little ray of sunlight and laugh. 

When I'm depressed - yes, sometimes I seek out equally sad and depressed movies or books to sympathize with.  But more often I head for the comedies, the silly anecdotes that can distract me and lift me up.  Often the thing that breaks a crabby mood is the utter sillyness of some of my siblings that I just can't help but laugh at.  Sometimes when the laughter is finished, I slide back, but I've found that if I laugh long enough, everything gets better.

We need to laugh.  We need to allow the joy and the beauty of happiness lift our spirits for just that one, carefree instant.  We can't fix the world if we are stuck in the gloom of sadness.  We can't even help ourselves in that state.  There is a time for solemnity, and there is a time for sadness   But when that time is over, don't drag it on.  Find a reason to laugh.

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