Friday, November 19, 2010

Five Reasons for Laughing In Times of Adversity

Laughter flies into the face of fear and brings us back to hope.

In today’s world, we need to have courage and indulge in borderline insanity to laugh, but laughter redeems us. It takes us out of the shadows and into the sunlight. It exorcises the demons of ego and ignorance. It helps us accept our imperfections. We are after all, comical beings.

I keep a cache of films that I watch whenever I need a good belly laugh. They include among others Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, Charlie Chaplin and his character the little tramp, along with the classics by Laurel and Hardy. Watching them I’m able to laugh at those moments when life seemed to take an embarrassing turn, or threatened to overwhelm me. For instance, the allergy attack that surfaced during my wedding ceremony and had me sneezing all the way through. (I should have known that the allergy was a strong hint about the relationship that ended in divorce!) There was the auspicious moment when I, the single mom, paddling as fast as she could exec left the house in a rush to attend a business presentation with my sweater inside out. Putting on my poker face, I promised it was a new fashion trend and the formal atmosphere shifted. I got the job and laughed all the way home.
When I was nine months pregnant I attended a ceremony with the Dalai Lama. Afterward, as I attempted to kneel to receive a blessing - not an easy thing to do when you have a 30-pound belly that defies any grace you might ordinarily possess. As I came close to ending up in a heap at his feet he gestured for me to remain standing. His belly laughter set me off. We both ended up in tears.
Being too rational not only stifles laughter, it puts the lid on creativity. Creativity happens when we cut loose from the boredom of logic and shoot for the moon no matter how absurd or impossible it may seem. Some of the world’s most creative people were laughed at for their ideas, only to have their detractors shuffle their feet in chagrin. In 1977, Ken Olson, the President of Digital Corporation said, “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.” We can all be grateful that Stan Wozniak and Steve Jobs who gave us Apple Computers didn’t feel the same way.

If there’s anything I’ve ever been sure of, it’s that the Gods have a sense of humor. We receive sound advice and then we ignore it and when we return, asking why didn’t you let me know; they laugh and laugh and laugh.

Five Reasons to Laugh:
1)When we laugh, we leave the ordinary behind.
2)Laughter helps us be freer, more spontaneous.
3)Laughter is a universal language.
4)Laughter aids digestion, comforts us and helps us stay alert.
5)Laughter helps save relationships.

When was the last time you really laughed at something you did and how did it make you feel?


  1. Such a good blog entry, Sam. I agree totally about laughter and I was very lucky to be raised in a laughing was a gift...

  2. STEVE Wozniak HA HA HA!!! I just watched Bandits with Billy Bob Thornton, Bruce Willis and Kate Blanchett and laughed all the way through for about the tenth time! Let those Laughing Lights FLY! Gabrielle Silva and Ragananda

  3. Thank you for sharing! I needed that today!