The power of laughter

The following blog is taken from the "This I Believe" speech that Jack '22 delivered to his Middle School teachers and peers. Every eighth grader gives a "This I Believe" speech about a belief or experience that impacts the way he leads his life. Jack shares why he believes laughter makes the world a better place.

I am going to save you all from hearing my terrible fake laugh, which would have been an attempt to sum up my entire speech. Trust me, I tried, and it was horrific. As many of you know, I am a great producer of laughter, particularly when other people tell the joke. However, I cannot say that others act the same when hearing my unusual jokes. My jokes usually lead to that weird, awkward silence where people try to understand the true meaning of my joke, only to find that the meaning was not funny at all. But in this instance, however, I am perfectly fine being the consumer due to the joy laughter brings to all.

I hope that you all have laughed today and, if not today, yesterday, so you know what the sensation of laughing feels like in recent memory. Laughing is something very important to me because it acts as a break from the rest of the world and lets us focus on the hilarious joke or event that has just occurred. The act of laughing is so pure that even at its core there is no hatred in it. Laughing unites the world because we can just sit there and enjoy that very small moment for a very small amount of time together.

When laughing, whether it be on your own or with multiple people, the world comes to a halt for a moment. Just imagine, it is silent in a room or something boring is taking place and you just can't stand another single second of what is going on! Then, out of nowhere, someone says something absolutely hilarious and the whole class cracks up. I can't be the only one who loves these moments. But when these moments occur, are you thinking of your school work or stresses in your life? All of these things come to a halt just so that you can laugh for a few seconds.

Laughter, at its core, is an act of purity. This is not to be confused when laughing at a cruel joke that puts another down; thelaughter I'm talking about holds no evil. When you or another makes a legitimately funny joke, there is nothing wrong with laughing. Laughter is a display of everything nice, sweet and warm in the world. To me, the pureness in laughter is astonishing due to its simplicity and ability to raise someone's attitude all in one. Also, if you have not noticed, a good joke takes creativity, which is a category we could all improve in. Creativity thrives in jokes, which is a possible reason for what makes them so funny!

Many influential people have realized the importance of laughter. Aristotle once said, in regards to laughter, that it is "a bodily exercise precious to our health." Writer Mark Twain stated, "Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon — laughter."

Physically and psychologically, laughter has nothing but benefits. Laughter is contagious and good for you. It helps in many categories, such as lengthening lifespan, boosting heart rate, and helping your body create more antibodies that strengthen your immune system, just to name a few.

To sum up, when you laugh at something, you are getting healthier and, since laughter is contagious, you are also making others healthier. Isn't that interesting!

Laughter is a great thing, and we are lucky to have it. We are the only animals, besides monkeys, that actually have the ability to laugh. Let's not waste this special gift that we have been given. In my opinion, laughing is one of the most underrated acts that we are able to do on a regular basis. Laughter is a very good way of just letting it all out, and I know that we all need to do this sometimes, especially with our busy middle school lives. Leaving you today, my advice is to just laugh a little. This I believe.