I Believe in Laughter

Brandon - Santa Rosa, California
Entered on December 5, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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I started to believe in this from the first time I was actually able to laugh. As a culture, we laugh at various people, objects, or sayings throughout our day-to-day lives. This is especially true for me. My laughter is constructed through many memories, relationships, and stories. As I started to grow and mature, the reasons why I would laugh started to change, but the benefits I received remained the same.

Throughout my childhood, I would look back on the various black and white photographs of my mother when she was an energetic child living in Southern California. In these pictures, she was always smiling and laughing at everything around her. Those photos made me realize that I received more of my mother’s genes then my father’s, since he does not laugh as often as she does. As I looked at the photographs, I realized I was laughing at my mother, not because she was making a funny face, but because she was laughing. My mother’s laughter in these photographs made my day more enjoyable and calming because I was able to forget about any problems I had and just enjoy the memories in the pictures.

As I reminisce on the years when I was in elementary school at Olivet Elementary, I remember waking up before my parents did every Saturday morning to sit and watch my favorite cartoon on Nickelodeon. The laughter caused by Chuckie or Dawin started my day off in a positive direction. The Rugrats, The Wild Thornberries, or Hey Arnold weren’t just shows for children; they were a way to escape into a parallel universe where I didn’t have to worry about my sister making fun or me.

I began to laugh at more mature stories, actions, and thoughts as I became older because I started to learn more about the world around me. I moved up in grade levels, which increased the amount of responsibility, stress, and of course, homework, that I had to complete, but I started to learn more. Even with this added stress of being in a higher grade, being able to laugh at Arnold, Gerald, and Helga on Hey Arnold made my already stressful teenage life more bearable.

As I have evolved from a child into a teenager, I have enjoyed laughing at everything and anything. Laughing is a way to keep in sanity, as well as a way to slow down, even when the world around me is moving at a rocket pace. When I laugh, I can enjoy myself and the people that surround me. And even in the most stressful of times, this laugher makes me understand why I was put on this planet called Earth in the first place.