We’re currently learning about metaphysics in my philosophy class. Let me tell you, metaphysics is not easy to comprehend.
Most of the things the Rev. Jason Mitchell says in class go way over my head – the man is a genius when it comes to this stuff. Honestly. He goes to conferences throughout the world talking about his research and ideas on the subject.
Anyways, one thing we learned about that did stick out to me is the idea that humans are the only animals that are able to laugh.
Think about that for a minute. This seemingly insignificant ability sets us apart from all other creatures.
I definitely think that people take laughing for granted. I know that I rarely — if ever — stop and think about how laughter impacts my life.
But the more I think about it, the more important this simple ability becomes.
If you know me personally, then you know that I find absolutely everything to be funny. Tell me a good pun and I’ll be laughing for ages.
When something funny happens, I often laugh about it long after everyone else has stopped finding it humorous.
Without this ability, my life would be a lot different. I know that sounds extreme, and you might be thinking that I’m full of crap right now, but it’s true.
Laughter unites us as individuals. It helps us form bonds with new people and strengthen bonds we’ve already established.
As the late comedian Victor Borge once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”
My roommates are some of the goofiest people I have ever met. You’ll often find us in stitches over something the other did or said. Laughter is a huge part of our relationships with each other.
The dynamic we have with each other is shaped partially through this shared ability.
Another reason I think laughter is so important is because it is such a great stress reliever. If you’re ever having a bad day, I recommend looking up videos of babies trying lemons for the first time on YouTube. Instant happiness.
When we laugh, our bodies release endorphins that make us feel better. This can even help relieve physical pain.
There’s a reason people say that laughter is the best medicine. Laughing can also help prevent cardiovascular disease by improving blood flow.
While I’m not saying that laughing is going to suddenly make all of your stress go away, it definitely helps.
As the end of the semester draws near, it’s important for all of us to remember to laugh.
Get coffee with some friends and swap stories about the crazy customer or the embarrassing thing you did in front of that cute boy. You’ll feel much better after you do.