I believe in the power of laughter. The kind of laughter that makes you laugh so hard that tears stream down your face and makes your stomach hurt or the kind of little laughter that comes from nothing in particular. Every single kind of laughter, at any given moment, has power.
All laughter is powerful because it has the potential to change a horrible day into a beautiful one, to turn tears and frowns into smiles, and an awful experience into a learning opportunity. Laughter is one of the main things that carries me throughout each day. I find a lot of things funny, mainly things that nobody else does. This usually results with someone asking me, “Why are you laughing?” or just staring at me like I am the strangest person in the world. But I have found that laughing makes me feel better. Laughter has helped me to get through bad times and experiences in my life. A bad grade, a fight with a friend or a parent, an embarrassing moment, I have gotten through all of these by learning from them and learning how to laugh at them. When bad things happen it is easy to sulk and feel bad about yourself. But if you learn from the bad things and learn how to laugh at yourself when you mess up, it is so much easier to get through those experiences and take something greater away from them.
There are plenty of things out there that are not meant to be laughed at: poverty, hunger, health issues. But I knew a little six year old boy who had been through a lot. He was a refugee from Burundi and had experienced firsthand things I have only heard about on the news. But when I met him, he laughed and smiled more than anybody I had seen in a long time. Even though he had been through all these terrible things, he still found ways to smile and laugh. Like this boy knew, there is no need to dwell on the bad times, but to focus on the good, and to keep laughing. Because laughter is one of the things that can make anybody feel better and brighten anyone’s day.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.