I believe… just what do I believe in. Ever since I first heard other essays on the air it’s made me wonder. I’m not really that religious, about the only quote on religion I really like is by the 17th century essayist and philosopher Voltaire “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” And I think it’s from that quote that I started to realize what I believed in…
It’s quite simple really, I believe in laughter. As teenagers, my friends and I have had our fair share of ups and downs, as a group and as individuals. And the one thing I’ve always found is that laughter can help. I guess if you ask my friends, one of the first adjectives they’ll come up with is “funny”, “entertaining”, or something similar. At least I hope so. In life, with my friends, family, and anyone, I try to be funny. I’ve always enjoyed making other people laugh, as long as I can remember I’ve been a class clown, or the funny man in my group of friends.
And now, as my friends and I are now solidly in the teenage years, my belief becomes even more important; As we go from child to adult, our lives change, people cope with change in different ways. Anger, sadness, depression, I’ve seen all of these within my group. And I guess that’s what I’m here for, that’s what I want to do, to keep people laughing.
I don’t want to say I’m a comic genius, but I’ve gotten pretty well attuned to what is funny to some people and what is not. I try never to ridicule another person, using myself as the fall man if needed. It works too, my friends laugh. I don’t know for sure if they’re always in a good mood, I don’t really ask. But as long as they’re around me I try to keep them in a lighter mood.
I guess I would say laughter is the best medicine, I’ve made my life and character out of it and it has always been there when I or anyone else needed it. When things are down, I’ve learned to laugh at the world, or at myself, but I’ve learned that you don’t have to be in a bad mood. In fact, it’s hard for me to be serious anymore; life is just so full of laughable possibilities.
I’ve written and re-written this essay so many times because it was hard to keep from turning it into a spiel of jokes and inside references that only my friends would get. I don’t even know if they listen to this show, but my compulsion to make anything I do laughable is one thing I always have.
So, you could say I do try to live my belief. And if you’re ever in a dark time, just take a step back, look at life and yourself, and hopefully you’ll see too, life is genuinely funny.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.