I believe in laughter. Often called the best medicine, laughter has the ability to instantly wash away the troubles of a difficult day. For me, there is no greater feeling than sitting down among friends after a long day and laughing. It is as if through the process of laughing everything that is weighing on your mind is forgotten. Suddenly it no longer matters that you failed a test, had a bad practice, or were stuck in hours of traffic. If only for a moment, you are taken away from reality and allowed to clear your head and refresh your mind. In this respect, I honestly believe laughter is an essential and necessary part of life.
The first moment in which I believed in the power of laughter likely dates back to the day my brother had his final spinal surgery. After being called into the secretary’s office at my grammar school, I was informed that my brother’s surgery was running long. Not completely understanding what this would mean for him, my eyes immediately filled with tears. After composing myself, I returned to my classroom and sat down, but on the inside I was racing. No matter how hard I tried, my mind was unable to rest as I constantly thought about him and whether or not he would be okay. Unaware of what was going on or how I was feeling, my friends, along with the rest of my classmates, went outside for recess.
I distinctly remember not saying much while we were outside for I felt truly disconnected from my surroundings. However, moments before the bell rang one of the guys in my class ran directly into a soccer net, full speed ahead as if he would be able to run righ t through the netting. Obviously he didn’t, but instead ended up getting caught upside down, hanging by one foot from the soccer net. At the sight of him, I think everyone burst out laughing, including me. In that instant, I realized how amazing laughter actually is and I have believed in it ever since. Even though seconds before I felt worried and disheartened while I was laughing it was as if I didn’t have a care in the world. The emotional release I experienced that day as a result of laughter, as I said before, is a necessary part of life. Laughter allows everyone, if only for a short time, a chance to forget everything and just enjoy the present moment.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.