To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To laugh often and much.” It’s one of my favorite lines in the entire quote. To pick up this blog series where I last left off, I wanted to change up the tone a bit with this lighthearted aspect of Emerson’s words.
I honestly think I have one of the most annoying laughs in the entire world. Sometimes it comes out as a cackle or a screech or a chuckle or any high or low pitched combination. Quite often when I see something funny, and I’m about to laugh, I become slightly curious as to what sound is going to escape my mouth in the form of a laugh. A common defense mechanism of those like me who don’t always love their laugh is to clap their hands over their mouth to muffle the sound. I am guilty of doing this all the time.
Now while this might seem rather hypocritical of me, we all need to laugh a lot more loudly and a lot more often. I’m working on it myself. I like to believe it’s true that the people who laugh the loudest and the most find much more joy in life. Whether we are laughing at I Love Lucy reruns (I know, I have the soul and the sense of humor of a middle aged woman), or the silly antics of a toddler, chuckles and giggles alike have been scientifically correlated to positive mental results.
I am a huge advocate of philosophy and deep conversations and dwelling on the important things, but I’m working on letting my laugh come a little easier. Because ultimately, do we want people to describe us as sullen and somber looking, or someone with laughter always on their lips?