This I Believe

Sylva - 91601, California
Entered on May 18, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

He Who Laughs…Lasts

Nineteen years is equivalent to 228 months which is the same as approximately 6,935 days which corresponds to 166, 440 hours and counting. So what can a nineteen year old possibly believe in that doesn’t have to do with an iPod or an internet chat room? Well, this nineteen-year-old believes in the strength of laughter.

Laughter, as defined by many dictionaries across the web is “the sound of laughter”. But I like to define laughter with a bit more meaning and explain it as the uproar of joy that comes from within an individual. Millions of people don’t realize this tool that they possess. My faith in the power of laughter has always remained intact. However, I forgot about it once my Grandfather, Hovanness (Joh-van-nes), suddenly passed away mid-January 2005. Up until my Grandfather passed away I was always smiling and telling jokes. After his death, I felt like a big part of me, which was my humor, also passed away with him. My smile, my laughter and my joy were all gone and I felt like I just couldn’t be revived.

My Grandfather was like an older version of all the Robert De Niro characters combined. He wasn’t like some crazy person who went around town killing the “Godfather”, but he was a stern man. He was a leader like Robert De Niro in “Analyze This”. He was a loyal companion like De Niro in “The Goodfellas” and yet he was a great father and mentor like Robert De Niro’s character in “The Bronx Tale”. But most of all, he was a great grandfather, a noble friend yet stern disciplinarian like De Niro’s character in “Meet the Fockers.”

My friend, Michelle, would constantly remind me how dull I’ve been lately and how she never saw me laughing anymore. She knew about the passing of my Grandfather but she wanted to help me forget about my troubles as quickly as I could. So she suggested that we rent a funny movie called “Meet the Fockers”. “Meet the Fockers” is a comedy-based film about a man named Gaylord Focker, played by Ben Stiller, seeking the approval of his fiancées uptight father, Jack Byrnes, played by Robert De Niro.

The movie began and I was immediately drawn into the script. It instantly made me laugh out loud hysterically. Robert De Niro’s character quickly reminded me of my Grandfather which made me smile and laugh with joy. Especially the beginning scene of the movie where Jack Byrnes (De Niro) is teaching his young grandchild how to express his feelings by using sign language because he was too young to speak. All of a sudden his future son-in-law Gaylord Focker (Stiller), walks in and De Niro goes from being all “cuddly” and lovey-dovey with his grandchild to being a firm and intimidating character with Stiller. It was exactly how my Grandfather was with his own grandchildren. He was like a marshmallow, soft on the inside, but with everyone else, he was the strict De Niro.

Right after the movie, I felt rejuvenated and energized. I felt like my old self in a newly refreshed way. I no longer felt restricted. Laughing while remembering the memory of my Grandfather helped me forget my troubles and made me realize that it was okay to laugh again. Therefore, I believe in the lasting power of laughter. I believe that laughter is a contagious disease and everyone needs to catch it. When I laughed that night while watching the movie, I felt as though all my pain about my Grandfather’s passing were gone. I felt like I had the world on my shoulder’s and laughter lifted it all off. Laughter helped solve my problems and made me think of each day in a more positive way. Plus, why not laugh? In a self-conscious society such as ours, we should be glad to be given this gift of laughter because it has been proven by many studies across the globe that laughter burns calories. So hurry up fatty, and start laughing! The ingredients to having a perfect laugh is: add a joke, multiply a HA!, subtract all that is negative in your life and there you go, laughter. I believe that, “he who laughs…lasts!”