This I Believe

Kathryn - San Luis Obispo, California
Entered on February 10, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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Chuckle, giggle, cackle, shriek, snort; this is all just another way to say the word laughter. As simple as it may sound, someone’s laugh is very complex. It can reveal parts to your personality if you are insincere, happy, uncomfortable, or nervous. You can use laughter to show emotions that you otherwise couldn’t. You can laugh through moments of joy, terror, love as well as distress. A laugh can help to conquer pain and troubles. I have seen some of the most diverse and most distinguishing laughs that I can think of. They embody all of the different forms of laughing possible, and use different kinds of laughter as an escape. I believe that laughter is just as good as or better than medicine.

My dad uses laughter as almost a kind of therapy. He works with my mom selling medical supplies and encounters sick or the families of sick people on a daily basis. Some people have heart wrenching stories where a loved one is suffering from cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. Others have recently been in a car accident or had major surgery and need wound care products. He always says, “These people are already going through hard times, I want to take them away from their worries, even if it’s for a minute or two.” The best feeling is when you see someone who is struggling with so much; smile and laugh back with my father at his lame, yet necessary jokes. He gets can get a tired 85 year old man to join in a scooter race or write something silly on a 6 year olds cast. I’ve witnessed so many people that have entered the store with a gloomy expression leave smiling and cheerful.

People use laughter as an escape many times. It’s the same reason you see clowns in Cancer treatment centers, or comedians at Air Force Bases in the Middle East. Just a simple chuckle can take you away from your most serious of problems. When I was very young, I remember going to hospitals where she sold heart monitors, and always seeing a clown walking around. He was joyful and could make one awesome balloon animal. I realize now that the clown wasn’t just for entertainment.. The kids and adults that were enduring so much could redirect their grief into joy.

There is beauty in the power of laughter. The fact that it can shape someone, change a moment or a state of mind. It is a way to mentally escape worries or problems for a moment, and enjoy something else. It is even clinically proven to be good for your health. Laughter has power, the power to energize something monotonous, add comedy to daily life. Laughter carries such a social connection that it’s a way to bond with others. Whether you snort, cackle, or have a wild, weird little giggle, you have a “laugh print,” a personal signature that’s your very own release.