I believe in laughter

Kelly - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe in laughter, especially when you can laugh at yourself. And, I’m not talking about a little chuckle or giggle. I am talking about the laughter that makes tears stream down your face, makes your abs feel like you just did 1000 sit-ups, and makes your smiling cheeks burn. My entire life I have been a complete klutz. If there is a ditch, I will turn my ankle in it. If there is a sign, I will walk into it. If there is something in front of me, I am bound to stub my toe on it.

After many episodes of stumbling and tripping throughout elementary school, I always wished for the day my klutziness would go away. I would turn a bright shade of red and hide anywhere I could. However, one day back in 8th grade, it all changed. I received a science award at an assembly and had to walk on stage to receive it. It was my ultimate nightmare – my entire junior high had reason to analysis and stare at my every move. I climbed the steps, picked up the award, and started to make my way down the steps back to my seat. And…I fell. Or rather, crashed. My body went flaring as I semi-circled down the flight of steps right onto the floor. The auditorium was silent. There was nowhere to hide. And then it happened – I started to laugh…uncontrollably. I basically have not stopped since.

Many people feel that klutziness is something you grow out of with age. Well, I am still waiting for that to happen. But while I’m waiting, I think I’ll embrace it. My uncanny ability to make a fool of myself happens at least three times a day. People pay money to have someone else make them laugh, while I get to entertain myself for free. In addition, I am pretty sure my close friends and family get quite the entertainment from me, especially because they “aren’t laughing at me, but with me.”

To me, the ability to laugh at yourself is a great gift. And nothing is better than having a gift be contagious. So the next time you do something embarrassing…just laugh. Trust me, it will work.