This I Believe

Lauren - Decatur, Illinois
Entered on December 14, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: humanism

I believe that laughter is one of the hardest things about the human body to explain. Many philosophers have tried to explain it; we laugh because, apparently, it is a release from our daily situations, it makes us less tense, we either laugh at something or it is tragic, etc. But I think that we laugh just because it is something that we do naturally. We laugh because we are ticklish, or simply because we find something funny, like when someone else is ticklish.

I believe that our emotions allow us to laugh at different things. We might feel very sensitive to something, and therefore cannot laugh at it, whereas someone else might be very open to it, and they can laugh easy. It all just depends on who we are. Many people laugh in social gatherings when everyone else is laughing too. Others may be completely secure in their own person, and only laugh when they think that something is funny. For some, it may be hard to laugh when everyone else laughs because of a certain bad memory or pastime.

I suppose I must also talk a bit about the physical aspect of laughing, too. Obviously, we laugh when we are tickled. I’m sure that some scientist or doctor has tried to explain why we laugh when we are tickled; someone gently touches a very sensitive spot on our bodies, such as feet or underarms, and somehow when the nerves are provoked we laugh. I don’t see any good explanation for this, but I think Freud would say something to the effect of the laughter relieving some sexual tension. But I’m not so sure that I agree with that.

Every person is different, but we all laugh in the same language. We laugh because we each have our own personality. We laugh out of innocence. Ever wonder why babies laugh? Why do we laugh when they laugh? I think it’s because it feels good to laugh; it is purely innocent. One can try to theorize about it all day- laughter is a relief of tension, it is better to find humor than to look at something as tragic, etc. But I believe that it is something that we just do instinctually. We find something funny, so we laugh at it. We are ticklish, so we laugh. I don’t think there is any more to it than that.