This I Believe

Stephanie - Bismarck, North Dakota
Entered on January 30, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in making people laugh. I love the sound of it, whether it’s a quiet laugh, a huge guffaw or a freakishly high squeak like my own. Hearing that sound and knowing that I’m the one who make it happen is the greatest feeling. I will quote and mimic and mime and jump around making funny noises if I know that it will brighten someone’s day and get them laughing. Often times, when you do something positive like that for one person, it tends to carry on to others.

Because of the times we live in, there area a lot of things that make people sad or angry. And a lot of the time it takes someone else to get you out of that state of mind. Jokes, funny stories, or just crazy faces and gestures are great for helping someone out of that hole, getting them back on their feet. It doesn’t matter if it’s silly or stupid or if it causes everyone else in the room to look at me, because I know that it’s going to help that one person to have a better outlook for at least a little while.

Now I do understand that seriousness had its place in our world as well, but to be honest, I don’t know if anyone could handle a non-stop, twenty-four hour laugh-free life. There’s always a time when someone just needs to laugh, whether it’s merely for the sake of a good time or as a serious release of pent up emotion. Even funerals can make use of a good joke, allowing that it’s appropriate and relatively respectful.

For example, Ricky, a good friend of my family died just recently. It had been expected for a while; he’d had many physical problems throughout his life. But despite his setbacks he’d managed to remain a crudely hilarious prankster. He loved messing with people and made fun of everyone, all within good spirit, of course. On the day of his funeral, my family discovered that the wrong church had been placed on the invitation. Because of the mistake, everyone was late, and the entire funeral ended up filled with jokes about this being Ricky’s doing. Many of the things that were said that day might not have been the nicest, nor were they things you would usually hear at a funeral, but I can say with certainty that everyone left with a smile. How many funerals have that kind of turnout?

Your life is determined by how you look at it and by how you react to it. You could leave it to solemn quiet and serious concentration. Then again, you could also give it a shove into the sunlight, where it can occasionally be interrupted by wild smiles and sporadic bursts of laughter.