I guess we are going to survive another Midwestern winter. They bother me more than they used to, but one of the things that helps me get through them is humor.
Once in a while, my office mate Mervet and I have a problem. One of us will start laughing, and then we both join in, unable to stop. Mervet’s eye makeup starts to run, and I can’t get my breath. We occasionally get to the point of snorting, hopefully not too loud. My grandfather used to tell us kids, “That kind of laugher just added an extra week to your life.” Who’s to say he wasn’t right?
Laughter is part of every culture, and the physical and mental benefits are widely known. I notice laughter comes so naturally, especially to our little ones. I think we have all seen babies express their delight with uncontrollable laughter. Ah, the joy of discovery.
Because the benefits of laughter are so well recognized, I guess my question becomes, why don’t we seek out more opportunities to enjoy it? Personally, I make a conscious effort to bring a little humor into my life and the lives of my loved ones. I have a few well-chosen (appropriate) jokes to tell, and I don’t mind being the clown once in a while. I would always choose to read a humorous book over something serious. I have never spent any quality time checking out a murder mystery or a horror story.
I have an upbeat and typically hilarious circle of friends. I am not sure how that came about, but I think it’s a subconscious decision on my part. To me, good-natured humor is a must. Sarcasm doesn’t appeal to me, but a little bit is OK if it’s clever and short-lived. A coworker told me I occasionally stooped to sarcasm, but I denied it and gave him a silent eye-roll as my only response.
We never outgrow our need for humor. I think all of us have been in a group and seen the infectious nature of one person’s solid belly laugh. I’ve seen it sweep through a crowd on a number of occasions. You probably have, too.
Regardless of the season, I think the best part of humor is to share it with someone else. Mervet agrees and doesn’t seem to mind reapplying her eye makeup every once in a while.
Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.