Laughter is surprisingly canny (as opposed to, say, canned laughter). On the surface, it’s just an amused reaction to something funny: lighthearted, guttural, fleeting. Yet it has surprising power to ease tension at the highest levels or seal instant friendships, and its healing benefits have long been touted. You can even enroll for laughter therapy. In California. Of course.
A baby’s laughter is surely one of life’s intoxicating sounds. When little ones are amused, their joyous gurgles bubble up from within. They’re fully in the moment, sometimes unaware of anyone else, perhaps fully engaged in their own toes. And it’s always genuine. A baby doesn’t chortle dryly at some wry political joke, or at their own witty observation, and they certainly don’t laugh at someone else’s misfortune (that dreaded schadenfreude).
Today there’s serious competition to make us laugh, from “Funny or Die” videos, to pay-per-view comedy routines, to any amount of animal antics online to drive traffic to sites.
A sense of humor is a finely tuned instrument; what makes one of us dissolve into fits, could leave someone else bored or scratching their head. Years ago, there was aTV ad that made me laugh every time. It was a sausage. In psychotherapy. You had to be there…
What makes you laugh? And how much is laughter a part of your day, or your relationships with family, friends or colleagues?