The Power of Laughter

Benjamin - North Wales, Pennsylvania
Entered on May 28, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of laughter.

Two years ago, I was selected to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY). Although I learned much from this experience, I gained more as an individual from an event after this conference, in which I had to make a presentation about my experiences at HOBY in front of my sponsors, the Woman’s Whitpain Club. I vividly remember the day of the presentation. I was a nervous wreck, unsure of how to reach out to my audience who, yes were mostly all old white ladies. I started out miserably with a shaky voice, trembling hands, and eyes that could not look beyond my note cards. But, when I started telling my experiences through past humorous episodes in my life and somehow digressing from the topic of leadership to Donald Trump’s ridiculous haircut, I really started to connect with my audience. Their laughter broke this once impenetrable ice that stood between us and I connected to them as if I were their best friend. You see, it was through this experience when I realized that even I could connect to this once distant audience through laughter.

Often times I wonder why people need to laugh. After all if you think about it, laughter is a convulsion of spasmodic breaths. You hear laughter on the sitcoms albeit recorded and artificial, from your friends when you crack a corny joke, or from the little newborn infants. It ranges from the small, unsure-if-I’m-supposed to laugh form when someone tells a really awkward joke to the full blown, teary eyed form when you hear a quality Chuck Norris joke. But really people just laugh because it is a natural human reaction and because it helps to unload from the stresses of life.

As in my experience with the old ladies from the women’s club, laughter provides a means to ease up tense and awkward situations, and helps people to connect with one another. Just think about any really good past motivational speakers that you have encountered. They always use humor and their life experiences to connect with you the audience. Once you establish this connection, the audience begins to understand you as a fellow human being and wants to hear your every word. In the end what it comes down to is that life is too short for you to always be serious. When a person tries to rebel against his natural instincts and remain grim, they ultimately feel miserable. So you should embrace your natural self and realize that through laughter you have the means to move the hearts of others and yourself.