On humor and laughter (and Audrey Hepburn)

Quote of the day:
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
– Audrey Hepburn

I love Audrey Hepburn. Now, I am not an expert on her or her life or her work. I’m a casual fan, which I guess makes it wrong for me to proclaim that I ‘love’ her. How can I love someone I don’t even know, you might ask? Well, I love a lot of people and I probably love too easily. That’s a different story.

I was 20 when I saw the movie “Roman Holiday” for the first time, and I fell in love at first viewing. Now, it’s one of my favorite movies. I think my love is founded in the fact that the story so strongly resembles that of a classic fairy tale, and like many people, I am enamored with fairy tales. I actually spent a large part of my last semester as an undergraduate watching Disney movies instead of studying (again, a different story for a different time).

Anyway, the above quote doesn’t have anything to do with Roman Holiday or fairy tales, but about something that should be important to all of us. Have you ever heard the saying that laughing is actually really, really good for you? It doesn’t just have some amazing health benefits (think, stress release) but I personally think that laughter has mental health benefits (and in the end, aren’t the two related anyway?). As Audrey says, laughing ‘cures a multitude of ills.”

The above quote is about finding a partner that can laugh and can make you laugh. I think it’s just as important in friends, in family, in all the people I surround myself with. True, people shouldn’t be laughing and making jokes all the time, but sometimes, a little bit of comedic relief is the only thing that keeps us all going. If we look at our own core groups of friends, I’m sure you can easily point out the people that are funny, the people that make you laugh. Those people are probably your best friends. They are the ones you turn to when you want to have fun and the ones you turn to when you are feeling down. I’m sure we all have ‘that friend’ too, who is always a downer, always has drama, and makes our lives less fun because they aren’t able to find the own fun in their own lives.

To me, being able to laugh, having a sense of humor, being able to laugh at yourself are really important qualities. It’s something I try to work on with myself and it’s something I look for in other people. This could also partly be because I am the opinion that we need more happiness in the world.

Lately, I’ve been getting in my daily required and recommended 30 minutes of laughing (just kidding, there’s no such recommendation) by watching FRIENDS on dvd. It’s true, I do feel happier after I watch a few episodes of FRIENDS. This could also be because I am obsessed with the show, but that’s a good topic for another day.

Goodnight guys! And tonight, think about what made you laugh today. If you didn’t laugh today, you should start reconsidering some of the priorities in your life. And if you have to, do something silly, put yourself out there, be crazy for just a second, and then try to be able to laugh at yourself. As my mom says, “we only have the fun we make for ourselves!”

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