Laughter in life

Laughter in life

Cheerful people live long in our memories unlike the grouchy ones.

‘There is no real life, but cheerful life,’ said a philosopher, emphasising on the need for laughter as a way of life. It is a well-accepted truth that laughter is the best medicine. It is advocated as a panacea for all ailments, big and small, from time immemorial. Statistics also proves that cheerful people live longer and more fulfilling lives than their sulking counterparts. A laugh a day, it is believed will keep illness away.

In my own family, the oldest relative, my grand aunt, at 90 years is an epitome of cheer and good humour.  She insists that the secret of her longevity is the belly-full of laughter she indulges in every day to relieve stress. ‘It is a part of living for me,’ she says, ‘like eating, drinking and breathing.’ She feels that a cheerful heart, expressed through hearty laughter is important to her health and happiness. In the middle of all her age-related ailments and failing senses, she beams with smiles and infectious laughter.  ‘Take life seriously and what is it worth?  The most completely lost of all days is the one in which I have not laughed.  So, even when there is nothing to laugh about, I laugh on credit,’ she chuckles. 

Cheerful people live long in our memories unlike the grouchy ones. Angry and grumpy teachers seldom make an impression on their students.  But the ones who teach with a smile remain in the hearts of their students for eternity. ‘Have you understood or upper stood?’ I recall my high school math teacher asking us, eighth graders, after gruelling periods on ‘calculus.’ This funny line would send the class into loud guffaws, transforming the stressed-out class to a joyful mood.  This same teacher would always cheer us up before exams, when we all bore a frown on our faces.  ‘Why frown?’ she would ask.  ‘Are you carrying the world’s burden on your little shoulders?  Keep smiling, good cheer is like an instant vacation,’ was her wise advice.

Fast forward and into my forties, I truly fathom the need for laughter and cheer in a tough and tangled world. Beginning the day with laughter sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.  Besides, laughter, described as ‘inner jogging’ is nature’s device for exercising the internal organs.  For, laughing begins in the lungs and diaphragm, setting the liver, stomach and other internal organs into quick vibration.  The heart is said to beat faster and sends blood gushing through the body giving glow and warmth to the whole system.  It also brightens the eyes and enhances one’s physical appearance.  No wonder the ancient Chinese would warn, ‘A man without a smiling face must not open a shop!’  A sense of humour is indeed an armour!