This I Believe

Lydia - Seattle, Washington
Entered on January 7, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
  • 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. I believe in giggling, chuckling, cackling, chortling, all-out, gut-busting, roll-around-on-the-floor-hold-your-tummy laughter. I believe in grinning; I believe in showing those pearly whites; but most of all, I believe in laughter. I believe that laughter bonds people. All of a sudden, you have a connection with someone you normally wouldn’t even talk to. I believe that laughter releases tension. It lets you relax and let go of your worries for a moment. I believe that laughter heals. When you laugh, you forget you were ever hurt. If you do something funny, tell a hilarious joke, or just smile, you give people a tiny piece of happiness to carry around inside them all day. Because of this, I’m willing to make a fool out of myself if it brightens someone else’s day.

My belief first started to take shape when I was hit in the face with a tetherball in elementary school. My face stung from pain and shock. I started to cry. I lay down on the wooden bridge, which moves when you step on it. One of my friends started rocking the bridge, making my head bounce up and down. Another of my friends joked about how I was going to get hurt even more, getting a huge lump on my head, instead of feeling better. This made me laugh until my stomach was sore. I got up and started joking around and acting it out, pretending I had gotten a bump on my head. I had forgotten all about my face. This belief has been solidified through the times I’ve sprayed milk all over the dinner table, remembering what hilarious thing someone said during school.

Even though I believe in laughter, there are a couple of governing rules that keep my belief working for me. Rule #1: Don’t tell jokes or make a wisecrack that could hurt someone’s feelings. This is very important. If I accidentally hurt somebody’s feelings while I’m trying to make them feel better, it makes me feel bad. Rule #2: Be able to conduct yourself with gravity when the situation requires it. This means I can’t go around laughing like a nut all day. I should simply look at the world with optimism and joy. I can improve a person’s day just by doing that.

Laughter gives; laughter bonds; laughter heals; laughter is carefree. It helps people grow, change, and transform. Every time you tell a joke, know how wonderful you are, for giving everyone around you a seed of optimism and hope to carry with them.