Monday, February 7, 2011

The Gift of Laughter

                                                     He will fill your mouth with laughter
                                                     and your lips with shouts of joy.  (Job8:21)

One of my favorite movies is "Steele Magnolias".  There is a very emotional scene where Sally Field's character is burying her daughter (Julia Roberts).  She is out in the cemetery and is having a meltdown.  Her four closest friends are surrounding her.  Sally Fields says," I feel so bad that I just want to hit something.  I want to hit it hard!"  One of the friends grabs another friend, Wheezer, and tells Sally Fields,"Here, hit this!"  It catches everyone off guard, and then all realizes that she is making a joke.  They all start laughing (except Wheezer).  The laughter totally changes the entire mood.  It defuses the situation.

The Gift of Laughter can bring about peace.  Laughter de-stresses.  Studies have shown that laughter improves one's energy level and helps fight depression.  It can help the immune system.  Laughter relaxes muscles.  The heart is a muscle.  Studies have linked laughter to protecting the heart against heart attacks.  Although, it may seem to be such a simple thing...laughter, (and it is); it is also a most valuable gift, although it doesn't cost us a cent!

What can bring laughter to your life?  What was the last movie that made you laugh?  Do you read the cartoon section of the paper?  Have you shared a funny story or joke recently?  Have you ever gone to a comedy club or a karaoke joint?  Do you surround yourself with pictures that make you laugh?  Can you laugh at your ownself?

I had to do that myself today.  I fell on some ice at school in front of my students and co-workers.  I found the irony of the situation and just simply....laughed.

"Nothing shows a man's"(or woman's)"character more than what he laughs at" (Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe).  Think about that one!

What friend makes you laugh?  I have a friend at school who will sometimes say to me,"Sherry, tell me a story; I need to laugh."  What a compliment!  I am glad that I have been able to bring some laughter into her life and uplift her.  Valentine's Day is a perfect time to send a card or short note to someone to simply say, "I appreciate you and your gift of laughter that you bring into my life."  Maybe you will send the gift of laughter to someone with a funny Valentine card.  However, you choose to celebrate laughter for the wonderful gift it is, remember an old Yiddish Proverb:  "What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul." 

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