“The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.” Mark Twain
It seems to me that we’ve developed a new kind of humor which really isn’t all that funny. We used to be content to laugh at a clown spraying seltzer water over everyone or getting a pie thrown in his face. We’d fall down laughing when someone slipped on a banana peel.
Lately, we’ve become more sophisticated in our humor. We still laugh at others’ misfortunes, but it seems magnified. Now we’ve completely excluded ourselves from the picture, focusing only on the other guy – a type of bullying – attempting to make ourselves appear superior.
In the process, we’ve lost our happy faces. Take a look at people you meet every day. The store cashier who methodically asks you how your day is going, without really caring. The bank teller who feels bothered by the fact that she/he has to take care of your business. Even what used to be considered an in-your-face person – the automobile salesperson – has lost his chutzpah.
Everyone has become so serious and in the process they lose their joy. Are we simply going through the motions, because we don’t want to offend anyone? Are we so inundated with screen time, that we’ve forgotten how to enjoy life? It starts by laughing again at silly things – foolishness that tickles our funny bone.
It’s still hilarious seeing a kid running around with his underwear on his head, or for that matter an adult doing the same thing. Kids, however, have a real knack for humor, even when they don’t intend to be funny. For example, my granddaughter recently recalled, “It was so fun when you’d come to babysit me and we’d watch “Shrek” over and over. Those were the good old days.” She was 12 when she said it. When she was 5 or so, she created her own Christmas card for me. Inside, she wrote these words, “You are the best grandma I have (on my mother’s side.)
Laughter is one of the most spontaneous emotions we have. It comes when least expected. You can’t control it. I have friends who burst into loud, spontaneous laughter and don’t care if someone looks at them like they’re weird. They laugh because they genuinely enjoy life.
Our world is far too serious. If we trudge through each day with a frown on our face, we’re not going to attract a lot of friends. That “happy” emoji on your computer isn’t going to brighten your day or anyone else’s like a face-to-face smile will. A great accomplishment in a child’s development is when he smiles for the first time. It’s part of who we are. God didn’t create humanity to live in despair and sadness.
When we laugh, we release endorphins which make us feel good. We actually feel better. Life is so gratifying when we experience a good old fashioned belly laugh!