This I Believe

Eric - Fairfax, Virginia
Entered on December 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

The Seriousness of Laughter

The comedian Carlos Mencia often says, “If you ain’t laughin’ you ain’t livin’,” and that is the motto I live my life by – I believe in the power of laughter and how good a simple laugh can be for you.

People know laughing is good for them, but I think most fail to realize just how essential laughs are to life. Laughs can develop friendships with strangers. Almost every relationship I’ve had has started with a shared laugh. One of my best friendships started with a kid I didn’t know, but every time something funny happened in our math class, we would look at each other and laugh. Through laughter we bonded without saying anything to each other, and eventually the two strangers in math, who were always laughing, became great friends.

If you think about any close friend you have ever had, or anyone you’ve ever felt close to, you would know that at some point a good, hearty laugh was shared, which made you both feel that much more comfortable with each other. A good laugh is a brief moment of lost inhibition and it takes a certain, small, yet important piece of trust in the people around you to allow them to see your unbridled joy. Laughter is a way to let people see you at your most vulnerable, natural, and primal state of mind. A big laugh says, “I know you can see the real me and I’m okay with it.”

Along with the enhancement and development of relationships, laughter can also heal emotions. Many times I’ve found myself with friends that were depressed, or mad about a girlfriend or boyfriend, and luckily I was there to use what I consider my superpower – my sense of humor. I always do my best to cheer them up, whether by making a fool of myself, contorting my face, or doing the things that I know will strike their funny bone the right way. I have never been one to allow sadness or anger in the people close to me. My ability to make people feel good, no matter what, is why people love me; I am the dealer they count on to get their emotional high, I have become their substance to abuse, the best supplement, one with no consequences only joy.

A sense of humor is essential for a happy life. It is for all these reasons that I believe a hearty, ab-crunching, tear jerking, knee slapping laugh is essential for everyone. And I’m sure that if doctors could, they would prescribe several doses of laughter to every patient.