Jennifer - Ambler, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 27, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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It starts as a mere vibration, born in small pits of your stomach, expanding with every inhalation, consuming your body with waves of untamed joy until it fills every fiber of your being, spilling out into a bursts of uncontrollable cries and squeals of laughter. Belly laughs. I believe that everyone should succumb to the power of laughter at least once a day in order to truly thrive in happiness. Without laughter, the essential building blocks of life cease to exist, the enjoyment of moments and memories throughout life become dulled and broken with the lacking of such a positive expression. The action of laughing fills and warms the heart, unhinging bottled up aggression and frustration, allowing unsettled pains to be released in a freeing and proactive light.

I’ve come to this conclusion from my collections of instances and connections that I have gone through. Even during the darkest times, the smallest bit of laughter can lighten a situation, providing a sense of hope and faith in the belief that we can surpass personal sorrows and obstacles. The majority of people often fail to recognize the power that thrives within laughter, yet, once it is analyzed and truly thought about the need for laughter is undeniable. Imagine a world where laughter of any sort ceased to exist. How would the human race function without this common gesture? The simple chuckle or giggle in response to some sarcastic remark or corny joke. How would one respond to a moment of joy, pleasure, or amusement? The entire balance of human emotion would be broken into a woeful state of humorless expression.

As I sift through the countless moments and memories of my life thus far, and the slew of laughs that fill them, my mind stops to recall a situation that required the playfulness of laughter. Well into my sophomore year, I was walking into school, trudging through the downpour of rain, my eyelids still heavy with sleep. As I walked into the lobby where the majority of the student body stands before the commencement of the school day, I failed to notice the large mass of water on the floor. Before I could take more than three steps, I felt my feet fall beneath me, and landed flat on my back, books and papers scattering in a heap of clumsiness. Everyone who was standing in the lobby witnessed my incident of humiliation and began roaring with laughter. My gut reaction was to pick up my belongings as quickly as possible and run for the nearest exit under a cloud of shame and embarrassment. Instead, I released the tension and joined my fellow peers in a raging fit of laughter. With tears brimming and stomach aching from my unrestrained laughs, I picked myself up, the plethora of books and papers surrounding me, and my pride along with them. Without laughter, this ego-crippling situation would have had a completely opposite outcome. My spirit and carefree nature would have quickly turned into wallowing self-pity. Needless to say, laughter is imperative in daily scenarios and situations.

Laughter is filled with multiple layers of emotions; happiness, awkwardness, biting sarcasm, joy, and nervousness all coincide with this simple act. The thought of life without these possibilities in human response is unfathomable. I may not know the meaning of life or love; I can’t tell you how to keep order or balance your body and soul; I haven’t always had faith in my relationships with friends and family or myself. I’ve made more mistakes in my life that I can count, and I am nowhere near done learning all life has to offer. But laughter, I know. It’s been the constant through the unavoidable changes and circumstances that I’ve been faced with. Its saved a horrible day more than once and its helped me express my appreciation for moments that will stay with me forever. It is from countless personal experiences and observations that I gather the belief that laughter is a necessity on the road through life. So next time you feel the sides of your mouth curl with playfulness, and you feel the anxious giddiness beginning to boil beneath your heart; release your tension, free your spirit, and fall into the moment; your heart rising and falling with every joyous bellow of laughter.