Welcome to Big Old Goofy World . . . a place where I can share my thoughts, hopes, and dreams about this rock that we live on and call home.

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Laugh

“Laughter is the language of the soul.”
(Pablo Neruda)

“Laughter is an instant vacation.”
(Milton Berle)

“A day without laughter is a wasted day.”

“Laughter is the closest distance between two people.”
(Victor Borge)

“Embrace me with laughter.”

I do not know too many people who don’t like to laugh . . . I like to laugh.  I like to laugh every day.  Laughter makes me feel good . . . and, I like to feel good.  So, I laugh.  Besides, science is proving that laughter is good for people according its research over the years.  I think it is silly that there has been millions upon millions paying to research the value and implications of laughter in the lives of people . . . especially knowing that people already had a pretty good idea that laughter was beneficial in the long run.  But now we have proof, and if science says it is true then it has to be true . . . sort of like anything one reads on the Internet . . . that is where I found the information about the benefits of laughter—on the Internet.  If you would like to consider this research for yourself please go to this link—it’s got to be true, it is on the Internet.

The first benefit to laughter, according to the research was . . . more sex.  Actually their title for this was misleading.  There is no guarantee that laughter would lead to more sex . . . not at all.  What it stated was that women like men who have a good sense of humor . . . one of the most requested things on dating sites . . . because they believe that men with a sense of humor are more intelligent and thus better providers than those without a sense of humor.  Well, if this is true, then I have to be one of the sexiest men alive.  I have a sense of humor that doesn’t stop . . . intelligence off the charts . . . and, if that is what women are looking for then I give Larry the Cable Guy a decent run for the money in the sexiest man department.  Well, maybe not . . . I might be too intelligent for my own good.  My humor tends to run on the dry side . . . an acquired taste that take a little intelligence to sometimes comprehend.  When women don’t get the joke it kind of drives down the sexy found in humor whether or not I am rolling on the floor laughing at my own jokes.  I’m not quite sure why they labeled “more sex” as one of the benefits of laughter . . . but, then again . . . who knows what goes on behind closed doors!

The second benefit of laughter is that it makes you happy . . . duh!  The researchers could have saved themselves a couple of hundred thousand if they had just paid me to tell them what I already knew . . . laughter makes me feel good.  But, no, they had to research it.  What they discovered that laughter releases endorphins.  Endorphins are what are released by the body when it is exercised and makes people feel good . . . what they call runner’s high.  In fact, researchers say that a person who laughs a hundred times is getting the same benefit as someone who exercises strenuously for fifteen minutes.  Norman Cousins said, “Laughter is a form of internal jogging.” 

I wish they had determined this years ago when I was an active and addicted runner putting in lots and lots of miles every day.  True, after running I always felt great . . . but, later, when the muscles started aching and the shin splints were acting up . . . I would have loved to gotten the same benefit by just laughing.  At my age the odds are better that I will get my endorphins from laughing than I would ever get running.  If I have to go a few miles I will hop in the car, put on a Bob Newhart tape, and get my exercise in through laughter.  Easier on the body . . . now, if they would only get my Fitbit to record the benefits of laughter I might eventually get that six-pack without having to buy it down at the grocery store.

The third benefit, and one I am now eternally grateful to know, is that laughter helps you poop.  Laughter balances blood pressure which improves circulation that improves digestion . . . which leads to better and easier poop.  That is probably why I enjoy reading the comics from the newspaper while taking the morning constitutional . . . laughter moves me in more ways than one.  Isn’t the bathroom . . . or what we have christen as the “library” . . . where most people keep all the copies of The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, and For Better or Worse?  Laughter moves us in more ways than we realize, though I do have a difficult time when it comes to the comic strip Blondie.

Benefit number four is that it boosts the immune system.  Apparently laughter helps people avoid the common cold by boosting certain chemicals in the body that boost the immune system.  People who laugh seem to get less sick than those who don’t laugh.  In all honesty it has been years since I have been sick enough to be in bed.  I guess it is all of that laughter over the years . . . I’m probably good for another couple of years before I have to start getting those flu shots. 

And, the fifth and last benefit researchers shared is that laughter helps to improve infection.  Of course this had to do with something called macrophages that boost the white blood cells that fight viruses and infections . . . I really didn’t understand it, but I thought the word “macrophages” sounded funny, so I laughed.  Probably added a couple of minutes to my life span.

Again, I am not sure why all of this time, energy, and money was used to research something most of already knew . . . laughter is good for humans.  It adds years to our health.  Makes us feel good.  Keeps us healthy. Helps us to poop with regularity.  And, for a few, I suppose, improves their sex lives.  But, I think that we all knew that already . . . laughter is good for us.

I like to laugh.  I like a good joke.  I like good physical comedy.  I like a good pun.  I like slap stick.  I like sarcasm.  I like comics and cartoons.  I don’t care too much for clowns . . . but, that is a whole other issue.  I like to laugh.  It makes me feel good . . . it makes us all feel good.  And, I believe that laughter is a gift from God that God expects us to embrace and use because God likes laughter.  In my personal theology as a follower of Jesus and as a minister, I believe that worship has to have laughter in order to be worship.  I have told every congregation I have ever served that I believe in the power of laughter and that if we didn’t laugh at least once in worship . . . well then, we didn’t worship.  I think it is as important to a worship service as Holy Communion, prayer, and taking up the weekly offering . . . there has to be laughter.  So, we laugh . . . each and every Sunday we laugh.  God is happy with our laughter.

I appreciated that science confirmed what most of us already knew . . . well, except maybe for that part about pooping and more sex.  Laughter is good for us.  Sure they could have saved a lot of time, effort, and money if they had done some sort of online survey like Survey Monkey or Doodle poll, but then we might have missed the humor in it . . . we might have missed the opportunity to laugh.  It has been said that “laughter is the best medicine” . . . research proves it.  I like laughter . . . I like to laugh.  That is why love, laughter, and friendship is always welcome in my home and in my life.  By the way . . . have you heard the one about . . .

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