The Best Medicine

“Laughter is the spark of the soul.” — Unknown

Last night I dreamed of laughter. It was a dream with no plot, no protagonist, certainly no antagonist – nothing more than scenes of people in my life whose laughter I love and have loved. The scenes made me smile, but I woke with a tear because many of those in my dream are no longer with me.

I always knew how I loved the sounds of their laughter – deep and throaty, soft and giggly, or hearty and boisterous. I am often aware of how I miss “the spark of their soul.” But the dream was a reminder to enjoy and appreciate more, the laughter of those still with me.

When I hear someone laughing – genuinely laughing, no laugh tracks, please – it warms my soul and always makes me smile. Often it really is contagious, because I begin laughing too.

Remember those little laugh bags? Such a silly little toy, but what a great laugh the man who made the recording had. As a child, I often laughed so hard it made my tummy hurt.

Laughter is a gift that grows more precious as we get older. It came easily and often when I was a child. But today, there are few people with whom I enjoy laughing beyond polite giggling. People who laugh easily are gifts to us all.

What changes as we become adults? Is it because we don’t take the time to notice and appreciate the little things that used to make us laugh? Do we take life too seriously? Do we consider laughter childish?

All I know is when I do have the rare fit of laughter that makes my cheeks hurt, brings tears to my eyes and tightens my stomach, I consider it a very good day.

Here’s to enjoying laughter and those who laugh!

“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.” —Victor Borge
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7 Responses to The Best Medicine

  1. ed_quixote says:

    I think you're onto something. Victor Borge could certainly make me laugh. Likewise Peter Sellers and Terry Thomas. Some people exude humor even before they open their mouths. And some professional comics are profoundly un-funny. Dudley Moore comes to mind. And ALL of the late-night dialoguists.


  2. ed_quixote says:

    'Scuse. Monologuists.


  3. Patty says:

    Oh, I love to laugh. Everyone in my family has an odd sense of humor. Family gatherings get rather raucous and very enjoyable. I'm fortunate to have funny friends as well. A day without laughter is rare in my world and that makes me want to giggle in delight.


  4. Russell says:

    Laughter is the reason I really enjoy writing (at least trying to write) humor. Getting people to laugh out loud is challenging, but extremely rewarding. My cousin Jerry started laughing so hard at one of my stories he broke into a coughing fit. I thought his Redneck girlfriend was gonna have to perform the Hind-Lick maneuvuer to get him breathing again. I told him, "From now on don't take my humor so seriously."


  5. Oscar says:

    An old Indian once said, "Laughter is heap good for body and spirit."


  6. to this baby's laugh after the sixth time his poppa "gets" him. Hilarious!Thanks for the uplifting post, Jan.


  7. Victor says:

    Laughter can flood one with great joy or it can inflict pain through humiliation and embarrassment. It can serve as a lifeline or it can act as a death sentence. Laughter can administer that needed spark and give life to a troubled soul. Laughter is also contagious! Have you ever been in the company of people who listened to the same joke or watched the same movie that wasn't particularly funny, but when one individual started laughing others joined on impulse; even if, for a single chuckle or two before they realized it wasn't that funny? One of the reasons I have a great love for comedic films is they provide an avenue that allow my laughter to flow without reservation. Films in general provide an avenue to temporarily escape my serious side. They allow me to expose an intimacy seldom seen outside the theater. Some of my side-splitting and most uncontrollable laughter came from watching hilarious comedies. Laughter is a gift given to us to enliven our souls to some degree for reasons too many to mention. Unfortunatey laughter is a two-edged sword. So I ask, "Which side will you use?"


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