Just last year, I started a new job working in a pharmacy. I love my job, and am happy to go to work on most days. On a rare occasion I find myself bombarded with more angry people that happy ones. A lot of the times I notice with these angry people that they are almost always on Anti-Depressants such as Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Xanax. This begins to make me wonder if maybe there is something more missing from their lives than a few pills.
Laughter for hundreds of thousands of years has been seen as the most natural form of medicine. Many believe that laughter can boost the immune system, strengthen the heart, and lower blood pressure. Most importantly laughing can boost someone’s mood, reduce stress, and just make one feel all around good. Voltaire, a French philosopher and author, even once stated that “The art of medicine consists of keeping the patient amused while nature heals the disease.”
This all makes me wonder when was the last time one of my patients laughed so hard they cried, or if maybe they are just waiting for a laughing pill also.
I do realize that a lot of stress and sadness stems from bad situations in a person‘s life. I know all too well this reality; I could sell my life story to the “Young and the Restless,“ even though it might be more suited for Jerry Springer. Through all my bad situations, I realize that the only thing keeping me from a series of mild sedatives and horse tranquilizers is my ability to laugh at the world around me.
The worst day of my life was when my best friend’s dad died. He was really also a second father to me. The night it happened I drove the two and a half hours to her parent’s house to be with my friend. On the drive back to my friend’s apartment across town that night, there was silence. Then out of nowhere, my friend spouted out an old joke we heard on a TV show many years back. The silent car erupted in laughter, and it made us realize that even in our darkest hour, there can still be a little joy. Our sense of humor, I still believe, is a large part in how we made it through the weeks after he died.
To the outside world, I’m sure it sounds insensitive to do more laughing at funeral than crying or a little immature to laugh at a gaggle of fifth graders’ fart jokes. The way I see it is that I’m probably gonna be on this world for only another sixty maybe seventy years, I dodon‘t want to wait till the very end to finally start enjoying it.
The amazing power of laughter is why I believe in all of the Ben Stillers, Dave Chappelles, and Bob Hopes of the word.
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