This I Believe

John - Rochester Hills, Michigan
Entered on November 26, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of laughter. I believe it is one of the most meaningful and useful action a body can do. When you laugh, your mind is almost incapable of thinking about anything other than what it is laughing at. All the bad things in the world are temporarily non-existent, and in the world we live in, that can be a lot. Laughing clears the mind, soothes the soul, and sometimes, even, restores health.

Take, for example, my last road trip. I was going to visit some friends from a different college. It was no surprise that when I arrived they insisted we have “a few” drinks. One particular friend had been suffering through a rough week and took this opportunity to unwind a little more than she should have. She had always been one of my more responsible friends; never drinking more than she could handle, but a few hours later things went downhill fast. We soon found her on the bathroom floor vomiting into the toilet. One or two of her close friends and I spent the next two hours with her in that small bathroom to keep her company and hold her hair back. Tears streamed down her face as she swore at herself for letting this happen. Her other friends gave her words of encouragement, telling her that this was just one time and that she was still a good person. I, on the other hand, had been making a house of cards, and when it was done said to her, as she was a shorter person, “Hey look! It’s a you-sized house”. Her other friends instantly criticized me for the ill-timed joke, but she gave a small spurt of laughter from her position over the toilet. With a tiny grin she turned her head to blow over my card house, then, rather surprisingly, wiped off her tears and stood up on her own for the first time in hours.

That little show of strength speaks volumes to the potency of laughter. It proves that sometimes things are only as bad as you allow them to be, and that a simple laugh is all it takes to remind one of how great things really are. If a silly one-liner can give a sick girl the energy to stand up on her own, then imagine what a great joke can do to a nation’s spirit.

Living a life around laughter doesn’t mean ignoring the evils of the world. I do not laugh as I walk by a person in need of help. It will always be essential to be a Good Samaritan. Laughter is just a way of cheering yourself and others up when things seem gloomy. A good comedian can fix a broken heart just as well as a doctor can fix a broken leg, and both are equally gratifying.

My beliefs force me to help others be as happy as possible. This is as simple as telling lame jokes, and always being positive. It means wanting to see others laugh, and needing to see them smile, because there is nothing in this world more rewarding than a smile.