This I Believe

Lindsay - Bedford, New York
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I love to laugh. I love to giggle. I love to snicker, grin, howl, roar, snort, crack up, and die laughing. However you want to slice it, I believe that laughter is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. It eases the mind. It takes off a bit of stress and lets you really love life at that moment. When you laugh, you forget about your problems for the moment. “[It’s] an instant vacation,” as Milton Berle says.

I remember one time, my friend and I were shopping at a very expensive luggage store. While we walked around, we saw thousands of dollars worth of luggage piled throughout the store. As we headed towards the back of the store, a disgusting smell tickled our noses. It was so strong we were both feeling a little faint. I leaned over and whispered to her, “OMG, it smells like poop in here!” and she said, “I know, Right!?” To get away from the smell, we turned and head back to the front of the store. Then, we saw the OWNER of the store, sitting right behind us, eating take-out Chinese food! Her food had smelt like poop! She had heard our conversation, and was smiling at us with an obnoxious expression on her face. We were so embarrassed. We tried to keep it in, but we were laughing so hard that we could barely run to get out of the store!

This was one of the many times that I realized that laughter eases the mind. We had been so embarrassed, but all we did was laugh, and the stress was gone. Our howls were the only thing we could think about. It was a good thing because we no longer were embarrassed.

Over the years, I’ve learned that no matter what the situation, trying to be sad, mad, or upset just doesn’t work. If something sad happened, the only way to stop crying is to laugh. If you’re in a fight with someone, the only way to make up is to laugh together. If you’re alone somewhere, tell yourself a joke! Truly laughing at things makes an awkward situation more comfortable because you find things in common with the awkward person.

One time, I dove into 10 foot waves, only to be spewed out across the shore along with my friends (laughing the whole time!). I’ve fallen on the street because I was laughing so hard. I’ve tripped on the Spanish steps in Italy and cracked up after for 20 minutes straight. I’ve done lots of weird things, but if you laugh it off, you don’t feel the strain of the scary, gross, or embarrassing things you’ve done.

The more inside jokes and funny times I have, the more I understand what I’m saying to you now. If you’ve ever laughed so hard you stopped breathing, you would understand, too. If you haven’t, I’ll tell you: Laughing gives you a feeling that you just can’t ignore. You forget other things that are going on around you. It releases stress and helps you to feel peaceful and extremely happy.

“A man isn’t poor if he can still laugh.” ~Raymond Hitchcock. Throughout my thirteen years on Earth, I’ve known a lot of people. The people that don’t laugh can’t enjoy their life. They could be rich with a big house and a wonderful family, but if they don’t laugh once in a while, they could never enjoy it. The people I know are the happiest and really turn a frown into a smile is the people that laugh. Those people, no matter what the situation, enjoy life to its fullest.

Laughter has always been an important part of my life. When I need an escape from reality or something to relax me, I just laugh. I dare you to try it. This, I believe.