I wonder if Adam laughed before Eve came along? Or more likely, I’m guessing she might have been the first with a big laugh when Adam created “It’s a guy thing,” showing off for the lady. Whatever.
Really, what would we do without laughter? Or more broadly, what would we do without humor, light-hearted entertainment, or comic relief? I’m not sure I’d want to live in a world or a human race where humor and therefore laughter didn’t exist.
I was and I am an avid newspaper reader. For years I started at the back of the paper and read my way forward, which is to say I started with the comics and moved on through sports and entertainment to business to hard news. I went from the light to the heavy stuff.
Why, I don’t know, but a few years ago I inexplicably switched. I suddenly felt compelled to start with front-page heavy-duty material and move through opinion columns to business to sports and entertainment. And now, I always save the comics for last.
I guess this happened because it feels good to wrap a session reading about the problems endemic to the human predicament with a little time spent with "Peanuts." I like them all, but my all time fav "Peanuts" characters are Lucy’s little brother Linus and Charlie’s little sister Sally. Linus is the intellectual, the young one who quotes Shakespeare and the Bible and spouts history and trivia. Then there’s Sally.
Sally’s the one who keeps coming up with a “New Philosophy.” Hilarious. With credit to Charles M. Schulz, here’re two:
Sally: “I have a new philosophy, ‘Life goes on.’”
Charlie: “Good for you.”
Sally: “So what’s on TV?”
Charlie: “Not much.”
Sally: “Life goes on.”
Sally: “I now have three philosophies: ‘Life goes on,’ ‘Who cares?’ and ‘How should I know?’”
Sally: “Pretty profound, huh?”
Charlie: “Maybe a little too profound.”
Sally: “Who cares? How should I know? Life goes on.”
One of my habits is to tear or cut out comic strips I think are funny and share them with Sarah. We do this pretty regularly and it’s always fun. Some comics have a way of presenting life poignantly. Some strike a chord because they talk about experiences with which you relate. Some, like "Garfield," grab a faithful readership because Garfield thinks, says, and does things that we sometimes wish we could get away with. They’re all amusingly enjoyable. Good comedy in television and the cinema can be the same.
Laugher is good for you. Innumerable empirical studies have demonstrated as much. But Solomon knew this long ago. He said, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful” and “A cheerful heart is good medicine,” (Proverbs 15:23a, 17:22a). Later Solomon said, “There is a time for everything…a time to weep and a time to laugh,” (Ecclesiastes 3:1a, 4).
So in the midst of inevitable challenge and adversity...in the face of life's turmoil, trouble, and turbulence, do yourself a favor. Find things in life worth laughing about. LOL.
© Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2011
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