When there’s so much heartbreak going on around us, it can almost seem wrong to be laughing at anything. Yet we need to laugh whenever we can, just never at the expense of others.
If someone is deliberately making a fool of himself and trying to fool the public, that may be another story. If you’re going to hold yourself up for ridicule, then ridicule is probably what you’ll get, even when topics are serious.
When Things Just Aren’t Funny
There are stupid TV shows that purport to be funny, yet are anything but. It’s bad enough when vulgarity has taken over the scripts and the network’s writers get away with it. Some studio bosses seem to think that’s what the audience wants. Really?
It’s also never funny when someone bounces off a trampoline onto the ground, or falls down the stairs, or stumbles and hits his head on concrete or a wall. It is even less funny when a person deliberately trips someone else, short of that person being a fleeing criminal. And then he or she deserves what they get along the way to being arrested.
Do Any of Us Offer Help?
Have you ever just fallen because a knee gave out while you were walking or a chair you were sitting in tipped over sideways when you scooted it back just an inch? You feel so embarrassed you want to die. Aren’t you grateful when a co-worker or often a total stranger jogs over to help you instead of laughing at you? On the other hand, if someone else falls in the street, do we stand there and laugh like hyenas or do we try to help? Hopefully, of course, oncoming cars also stop in time if the drivers aren’t distracted.
A Time to Weep, and a Time to Laugh
In today’s world of gloom and doom news, true laughter may seem hard to come by. And for some households, now is definitely a season of mourning after the ongoing devastation of floods and tornadoes, just in the U.S. alone. I respect their circumstances. In addition, all of us will be in a similar situation at one time or another, be it from earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, and more.
We do need to laugh, not in a raucous manner, but laugh. In Ecclesiastes 3, the Preacher wrote:
To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the Heaven:
Our world and our nation are no strangers to tragedy but my heart broke for the young mother whose four young children, all of them, were swept away in more than chest-high flood water along with their Great-Grandma who had carried them out of the house. That poor young mother did not know what sweet Jesus was doing to allow those drownings to happen. And I don’t either, though I try to grasp the depth of his compassion for his brothers and sisters. But thanks be to God, her children and Grandma are in a safe place now and forever. Her life here will go on for a time. I hope her family and their community will be kind enough to continue uplifting her through the weeks and months and years ahead. She likely will not laugh again for a long time but eventually, painfully, she will do so. Blessings to her.
Laughter and Chocolate
UC San Diego recently hosted a fascinating lecture called The Science of Laughter and Chocolate by Dr. Lee Berk and his Chef son, Ryan Berk. I wish I could have attended. It’s not just any laughter or any chocolate that will promote well-being but it’s fun reading the news report related to the lecture!
Laughter and Children
Laughter is just as important for children. And one of the best resources is to read funny storybooks to them until they can read on their own. There is a list of 17 hilarious books for children to start with, out of the thousands that have been published. Reading is more beneficial than always having them watch a funny video or cartoon. Variety is great for kids’ brain development but reading stimulates the brain like nothing else can.
Yes, it’s OK to laugh at the right time, in the right place and for the right reasons.