The Power of Laughter

Anna - Syracuse, New York
Entered on September 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in the power of laughter. I think that laughter is an essential part of anyone’s life, no matter what their background is. Laughter is what humbles us and what brings us together. It diminishes hatred, awkwardness, and even loneliness. Growing up one attribute my mother was sure to always drill into me was the ability to laugh at yourself. During childhood and preteen years children have no mercy or compassion when addressing you and/or your feelings and it is critical to know to laugh at yourself or else the bullying will just increase and intensify. If you are able to just sit back and laugh at the joke being made at you, your telling the other person I don’t care to acknowledge your hurtful stabs instead I am able to just laugh it off.

In my middle school years I was always the aim of all the jokes. I was still in that awkward phase in life where certain body parts have developed while others still haven’t, leaving you with an off-balanced body, thus making you an easy target. One day during my seventh grade year I was in the cafeteria having lunch and a bunch of classmates who were considered part of the “in-crowd” came up to me. In front of the whole table they tried to make a comment about my clothing stating I didn’t fill them properly, since they were all well developed already. Instead of taking it has a hurtful stab I just hopped right on the bandwagon and joined in. I started laughing and even went as far to continue the joke, in essence almost making fun of myself. Everyone was baffled that their joke didn’t hurt me as they had intended. Rather I simply started laughing and continuing the joke which, in change, put the spot light on me oppose to the green light. I still remember that that was one of the LAST days that I ever really experienced teasing. After that I was, in a way, accepted by the in crowd and was left be. I was completely astonished my mother’s advice actually worked.

The power of laughter didn’t stop then, it still continues to assist me in my everyday life now. Over the summer I was competing for an internship that virtually all the spots had already been given to all previous year interns. The chance of me actually being able to land an internship in that firm was slim to none considering there were practically NO openings left. But the owner/CEO of the small firm agreed to interview me at least so even if he had something that was even volunteered based. During the interview he asked me a series of questions about myself. In the midst of answering his questions I decided to let my sense of humor shine through. That was probably the best decision I made because after months of trying, the next day I got the e-mail I had desperately awaiting; I got the impossible internship.

These are just two of the many reasons why I see laughter as imperative part of life. I always tried to hold this philosophy close as my live my life, no matter the context.