Brittany - Palatine, Illinois
Entered on May 20, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that laughter is underestimated.

I’m not talking about the phony laughter used to fill an awkward silence or only to uphold a friendly demeanor. Real laughter doesn’t necessarily have the vocal “haha” component—but it’s rather a moment, either solitary or shared, in which you can see in your eyes you’re appreciating something in a new or different way. According to John Lennon, “All you need is Love,” but the traditional definition of love implies true love is usually only shared with a few people in your life. Laughter is limitless in who you can enjoy it with, and when it is shared, it reveals a source of common ground between people.

Laughter is an equalizer. You don’t have to be a hoity-toity rich person in order to share a chuckle with a Fortune 500 CEO. Laughing with a stranger, especially someone seemingly so different from yourself, makes a connection—long-lasting or short-lived—for that moment. It offers a means to break down our first impressions and maybe help us not be so quick to judge the next time we meet someone new.

But enough with the clichés—true as they may be I’m sure you’ve heard them before. Let’s think about laughter logically for a second: when you picture happiness what comes to mind? Smiling? True laughter is like smiles on steroids. I know what you’re thinking: it’s too simple. I’m not saying that laughter is going to solve everything wrong in this world but we’re always so focused on the problems in our society we rarely actually think about the little things we can do to make it better. So spread the joy. Find amusement in your life and always retain the ability to laugh at yourself. We all make mistakes but being able to laugh about your own opens you up to others. Think about the possibilities if we all made ourselves more open to others and realized that we have much more in common than we do differences, and some of the differences just give us one more thing to laugh about. This I believe.