A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
“Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
“He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting.”
Have you ever noticed a random quirk in yourself that you never took notice of? But suddenly you become self conscious because one person makes a passing comment.
Well, someone noted that they could find me anywhere in the country, because they would hear my laugh above the crowd. It occurred to me, after being mildly embarrassed about having a loud, obnoxious laugh, that I laugh a lot. I started working in Starbucks, and on my third day one of my coworkers commented on how much I laughed.
It was not a criticism, and if it was I didn’t take it as such. It made me think about laughter. What an incredible gift it is to laugh! With the gift of speech comes the ability to think, the ability to be solemn, to be logical, and the gift of personality, of wit.
So we laugh. I can often pick apart my friends if I could hear them all laugh. It seems that the closer I am to people, the more we can laugh about.
That brings my question I’ve been pondering.
Whatever Happened to Laughter?
When you feel like taking a final bow, you feel joy. When someone you love disappears, you feel anguish. When someone makes a silly face, you laugh.
For some reason, art, especially modern art, has lost the ability to be comedic, without being abrasive. Today, what wears the guise of comedy is really people taking pot-shots and graphic jokes about people they despise.
Where has wit gone?
Where are the old TV shows that were nothing but comedy without the graphic and obscene remarks? What about silent comedy? Before sound, many a mime could crack a joke without a single syllable. Why have we lost the art of laughter? Today, you go into a theatre, movie or otherwise, and have to choose based off of what is being shown. The cast majority of our songs, dramas, movies, speeches, plays, musicals, sculptures, visual art, and even dances are all serious.
Yes, there are many problems and we do well to bring attention to them. But why at the expense of humor? Relationships are made with laughter. Anyone can have problems and solutions, but laughter makes us human. It allows us to replenish ourselves after being berated by the monotonous, crazy, stressful problems in life.
In C.S. Lewis’s book The Magician’s Nephew, two children and other characters see Aslan the ruler create the world of Narnia. They watch as Aslan brings color, plants, water, and life into existence. Then they see him take aside two animals of each kind of animal and makes them talking beasts. Right after He gives them the ability to speak, he tell them that they may not always be solemn, but happy, and hilarious as well. A squirrel jumps up and says, “Aslan, may I have the opportunity, to make the first joke?” Aslan replies, “You did not crack the first joke, you were the first joke!” The entire company laughs.
Why not laugh? Now, more than ever, we need good, healthy laughter to fill the relational gap which so many things have created. Go have a laugh. It’s on me ;P
I promise humor will not kill you.
Be blessed today.