I Believe in Laughter.

Amanda - Onida, South Dakota
Entered on October 24, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • 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.

Many people in today’s society have trouble laughing at themselves when they make mistakes. When I trip and fall, I immediately jump up and look around just to make sure that no one witnessed my tumble. After an embarrassing situation occurs, I find it hard to laugh at myself. Most people make mistakes and can’t laugh about them. It really does make the blunder less embarrassing. One day, while sitting at basketball practice listening to our coach explain a play, a slip of the tongue made me realize that laughter can combat embarrassment.

I found out how embarrassment really works in the seventh grade. At junior high basketball practice, the team huddled around our coach, who is also the superintendent at our school. He drew up a really easy play and asked us if we all understood it. He waved his clipboard motioning towards the court and we all began to laugh. A fly had landed on the clipboard and had survived the rapid motion.

“Why are you girls laughing?” our coach asked. “Is my play really that bad?”

Of course, I, unfortunately, opened my mouth first and offered, “Coach, your fly!”

His eyes flashed downward and his hand quickly followed. The team began laughing even harder as my face grew redder. I knew that I had meant to say, “Coach, there’s a fly on your clipboard,” but those words just didn’t leave my lips that day.

“Coach, I’m so, so, sorry. I can’t believe I said that. It isn’t what I meant!” I apologized.

“Amanda, it’s ok. I promise. It isn’t that big of a deal. I’m not upset with you!” he tried to tell me.

At the time I couldn’t apologize enough and reddened whenever anyone started talking about it. Even now, when someone mentions the “incident,” I feel my ears go red. However, I have learned to just go along with it. I will laugh and say, “Yeah, wasn’t that the stupidest, yet most funny thing I’ve ever said?” It shocks me how easily I got over that embarrassment. This situation reminded me that not everyone could overcome that embarrassment, and that makes me proud of myself.

Laughter lightens even the most embarrassing situations. If I remember to laugh at my mistakes, I know that I will make it through them. Embarrassing things have a tendency to happen to everyone, and for me, laughter scares embarrassment away. I believe in laughing at myself in embarrassing situations.