The job was fulfilling, and we were euphoric at being able to brighten up someone’s day. Unfortunately, I had to move on and begin a new life thousands of miles away. I felt like a traitor who had temporarily empowered these young children to forget their worries only to desert them when they felt that someone finally cared for them. At that moment, the conviction that laugher could not be the miraculous remedy I had always assumed it to be was so overwhelming that it forced me to choke back on my own tears. Then little Joey walked up to me, gave me a runny kiss and a tight hug, andOrder now
vehemently protested: “Why are you sad? We know that you will always be our smiling friend who said that we should laugh unhappiness away. We are happy, but why are you sad? ” At that poignant moment, an innocent victim believed that laughter can save the world and it was beyond my prowess to challenge his conviction. Joey reminded me of one of life’s most important lessons-the lesson that laughter is the greatest medicine, a medicine that often when coupled with the spice of sarcasm can leave a bitter taste in your opponent’s mouth. I laugh at myself and the world laughs with me.
Just because one person does not consider me good enough company does not mean that everyone else will follow their path. As a member of society, I am entitled to my views and so is everyone else. Having learned to live with this universal truth, and with the realization that a smile a day can keep bitterness away, I can enjoy the little things in life, and laugh the injustices away. Laughing my heart away has awakened me to the realization that hypocrites try to deny the existence of worldly vices but the only effect this has on their lives is that it starves them of the chance to appreciate the relief humor evokes.
More importantly, learning to laugh taught me that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view” (Lee 273). Laugher enables us to see things as being three-dimensional and not simply the products of our prejudices. When people see me laughing at my own imperfections, they often question my mental hygiene and wonder aloud whether I can be so blunt as to unabashedly acknowledge these imperfections or whether this is a mask of sarcasm and double standards. I believe that failing to appreciate the humor in their lives forces hypocrites to see the world behind disfigured masks.
Not surprisingly, this belief and the conviction that laugher shatters the strongest and most elaborate of masks make an honest face more appealing to me. I do not want to be deceived by appearance, so it is only just that I do not try to deceive others. As Sara Jeanette Duncan once said, “One loses many laughs by not laughing at oneself,” (www. google. com) an observation that makes me all the more convinced that by foregoing the mask of self-deception and mocking my own blemishes, I am one step closer to being a productive member of the “body,” society, that Priestly so vehemently praised.
Smiling employs more facial muscles than frowning; a scientific fact that has persuaded me that laughing is not as unsophisticated and effortless as it appears – – both literally and metaphorically. Since laughing burns more calories than “puckering our brows” at life’s blemishes, wouldn’t it be less grueling to burn off the freshman fifteen by laughing our hearts away, rather than by collapsing in stifling gymnasiums? Gore Vidal’s observation that “laughing at someone else is an excellent way of learning how to laugh at oneself” (www.
google. com) is a conviction that often influences the choices I make. Thus, all that I need to remind those who reject this power is that “questioning what seem to be the absurd beliefs of another group is a good way of recognizing the potential absurdity of many of one’s own cherished beliefs” (www. google. com). Moreover, exhausting their desire to laugh at others will inevitably force them to laugh at themselves. Just the way I do.