Stop me if you have heard this one: A man walks into a bar . . . . One can only assume that everyone has heard some variation of that joke. So what is the point? The punchline of course! All people want to get as much laughter from those we possibly can, as it will make everyone feel good. People like to have a good feast!
So what is laughter and why is it so important that we feast on it on a daily basis? According to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary & Thesaurus, Laughter is, A explosive sound that is a sign of amusement. They say that Laughter comes from the old English word “Hleathor” and was known to be used before the 12th century. That fact is an understatement as the idea of laughter or laughing can be seen farther back than that . . . about 3,000 years ago to be precise . . .During the reign of King Solomon. He wrote in the following Proverbs regarding laughter:
For the poor, every day is hard. But for the good heart, it has a perpetual feast.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, a but low spirits saps one’s strength.
Laughter is important because it lifts people up when they are feeling depressed. It gives them that extra lift, like a cup of coffee or a good word from a friend. According to some cardiologists from the Maryland Medical Center, Having a good laugh with family and friends does help deal with pain and other ailments such as heart attack. But what constitutes as something be funny? Watching someone getting hit with a hammer in a real-life situation certainly isn’t funny, but horrific. However, watching the classic black and white shorts of The Three Stooges with their antics, or even Charlie Chaplin with his pratfalls, almost always brought laughter from those watching those films.<
Norman Cousins, from his memoir, “Anatomy of an Illness,” said, By watching episodes of the Marx Brothers, I felt better and had pain-free sleep. So let us feast on some of the benefits of laughter.
Laughing lowers blood pressure.
Laughing makes a stressful situation more relaxing.
Laughing gives our stomach muscles a good work out.
Laughing makes a gloomy day, brighter.
Laughing will make people want to be around you more.
Sad and angry people will not be able to stay that when they are around someone who likes to laugh.
Laughing improves creativity of thought.
Laughing helps defend against respiratory infections.
According to Dr. William Fry of Stanford University, When you laugh, you use your whole brain. Laughter works quickly. So does that make those who do not laugh or refuse to laugh, half-brained? Earlier today, I was watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon with my 4 daughters. In this episode, Witch Hazel was trying to cook Bugs Bunny. Long story short, at one point, she catches up to him and cackles Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh! Bugs Bunny questions, Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh? To which Witch Hazel replies, Yeah! Heh, heh, heh, heh, heh! Bugs Bunny then laughs hysterically, making funny faces, then says, Top that Lola Bridgetta! At another point, Witch Hazel flies up to the castle tower to where Bugs Bunny is and says, Hello! In reply, Bugs Bunny says, Goodbye! as he hands her an anvil sending her straight down to the ground knocking her senseless. My daughters and I laughed uncontrollably. As I am writing this, it still makes me want to laugh. One other time in 1994, I was reading the daily devotional “My Utmost for His Highest,” by Oswald Chambers. The scripture passage for that day was Matthew 6:26. It starts off by saying, Consider the birds of the air. . . What made this so funny was the next part which said, Their main aim . . .”If anyone knows anything about birds, is that sometimes their “aim” leaves a lot to be desired.
So, how does having a continual feast everyday sound to you? Then laugh and laugh often. Laugh with people, not at them. Laugh when you are by yourself. Make it a habit, a daily ritual if you prefer. You will be glad that you did.
By John Thomas