Have you laughed today?? Seriously!! Have you snickered quietly? Suppressed a chuckle? Let a chortle escape? Spontaneously giggled? Cackled raucously? Hooted noisily? Guffawed boisterously?
Seriously – when was the last time the corners of your mouth turned up . . . and you found yourself smiling . . . giving way to a giggle . . . and then letting loose with a belly-aching, side-splitting, tears-streaming-down-your-face laugh-out-loud laugh? Just when was the last time you found yourself on a laughter high??!!
Seriously – do you know that a child laughs 400 times a day on the average, while an adult laughs only 15 times each day? Lord knows we weren’t born serious!! While I may be chronologically challenged, I remember being a child – a time in my life when most everything seemed funny! My mom would gum her lips together and pretend to be toothless as she innocently asked if anyone had seen her teeth. My uncle would burp after a holiday meal and say “My compliments to the chef.” (When not relentlessly teasing me as only older brothers can!) My older brother could simply make a face and say something that was not even remotely funny but in its delivery would send me into a fit of laughter.
Seriously – when did we adults stop laughing?? Why did my mother’s “toothless” banter become insensitive? My uncle’s belch not proper etiquette? My brother’s jokes and goofy faces – in a word – juvenile? When did I – along with all those other grown-ups who have neglected their birthright to gut-wrenching laughter – become so serious??
During the Great Depression of the 1930s it is estimated that people laughed approximately 16–18 minutes each day; in 2009, grown-ups (on the average) laugh but six, out of a total 1440, minutes each day. We adults have become much-too-much terminally too serious!!
Why are we so serious when no one can deny that laughter is good . . . laughter is healthy . . . indeed, laughter begets laughter??!!
Case-in-point: Just last week I was having lunch in one of my favorite local “haunts” with me-myself-and-I when, over the hustle-and-bustle of typical customer and service noise, the sound of an infant caught my attention. I don’t know what the baby’s mom said or did that prompted what first sounded like a meow . . . which chorused into a baby’s giggle . . . which crashendoed into a gasping-for-air-legs-and-arms-flailing kind of laugh as only a baby can laugh. What I do know is that the baby’s laughter became infectious as it sent up a chain reaction from those within ear-shot. Seriously there wasn’t a person who did not stop and listen to the magical sound of laughter as it literally tsunami-ed across the restaurant. Within moments there was not a down-turned mouth to be seen – not a serious face in the crowd – as patron after patron succumbed to the domino-effect of a child’s laugh.
What’s that expression about “out of the mouth of babes”? As proven to me last week, one of the sweetest sounds in the world is the laughter of a child. Clearly spending time with kids is a guaranteed, sure fire, funny bone tickling way to add humor and laughter to our daily lives — to help us take ourselves far less seriously — to enjoy the funny side of life. How fortunate I am to spend every single summer day — all day for eight weeks straight — at Camp Kamaji in the company of kids . . . the true “experts” on playing and taking life lightly all the while laughing.
Seriously – steal some time with kids each day and you’ll be surprised at the laughter that effortlessly bubbles forth from them . . . and from you!
Seriously – let’s all get serious – about laughing!!
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