This I Believe

Lindsey - Wylie, Texas
Entered on October 23, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in jokes. Jokes that make you throw your head back in laughter; jokes that are so memorable that they make you chuckle to yourself every time you think of them; even jokes that completely bomb and leave an awkward silence for a few minutes. Jokes are the key to life because laughter is precious. Laughter gets you through the tough days, the hard times, the tears, the frowns. I believe in jokes because afterwards I get that feeling. The feeling you get after a joke when you laugh, give an amused sigh, and have a small smile on your face for a few minutes. That feeling is bliss.

There are rarely times when I am just happy. The words I would generally use to describe my mood are fine, alright, not bad, annoyed, maybe a bit sad. In my vocabulary, the words happy, glad, and pleased are not answers to the question, “How are you?” Too much goes on every day. There is too much thinking, too much worrying, too much fretting, and not nearly enough joking. Five days a week, I go to school and get bombarded with essays, labs, projects, and tests. On the other two days of the week, my “rest days”, I’m doing community service, agonizing over whether or not I got number 25 wrong on that last chemistry test, and desperately trying to find some time in between to sleep. When would one ever find the time to relax and joke around with a schedule like that?

A wise person once said, “Every moment without laughter is a moment wasted.” Though I don’t know who this wise person is, I certainly know that he or she is on the right track. Every day, we are inundated with depression, anger, and sadness. Turn on the news, and you’ll find that someone has just been killed. Open the newspaper and you’ll read about the latest crime scene. Even music has been tainted by this downwards spiral—there’s nothing cheerful about “Cute without the E” or “Sink and Die.” The media doesn’t do anything to cheer us up, and the only thing we can do to counteract that effect is to tell a joke.

The power of a funny joke is remarkable. There is no degree of unhappiness or anger that can stand up to a clever pun or witty sarcasm. When I hurt my hip during the soccer season, I was devastated. There’s nothing I love more than soccer, and not being able to play made me the antithesis of happy. I thought nothing would cheer me up. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Joking around with my friends got my mind off the injury, and in six weeks, I was back out on the field. So, go tell a joke. Long, short, silly, dirty, sarcastic, knock-knock—it doesn’t matter. Spread the happiness around. You never know when you’ll be needing someone else to cheer you up.