A day without laughter is a day wasted

I must say that writing about ‘Humour’ is not easy. The first thing that passed through my mind was ‘What is there to write about… except maybe give a definition which anyone can find for themselves in a dictionary?’

So I looked the word up in a dictionary – in various dictionaries actually – hoping for inspiration. And all definitions I found included, as one would expect, the word laughter. Now, laughter is something much easier to write about. Laughter is important. It is healthy. We should all strive to laugh often, even when it seems that there is not much to laugh about in our life.

Everyone passes through phases where one does not feel like laughing, like having fun, or going out, or celebrating, or being with friends. And without realising it you close up on yourself, start becoming short tempered, abrupt and unpleasant to be about. Friends and family start avoiding you when you need them most, you become more lonely, abrupt and unpleasant, and a whole vicious circle sets in.

Then someone smiles at you and it is like the sun rising over the horizon. Most people automatically smile back and the simple act of smiling feels like the sudden lifting of the cloud – things look brighter and the present and future no longer look so bleak. And if one has the perseverance to go on smiling even in the face of adversity, automatically the people who were previously avoiding you start hanging around once more, they start once more to stop by to chat and have a good laugh. Slowly things start getting better. The problems don’t go away, but there are friends around to help share the burden and one no longer ends up spending every single waking hour mulling over the problems and the bad patches.

Importantly there is no need to feel guilty to be smiling and laughing even though the situation is not as good as it could be. After all, laughter is important. It is healthy –  it is necessary because as the French writer Nicholas Chamfort said ‘A day without laughter is a day wasted’. Of course, being French he said it in French, but it translates well enough…

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