A merry heart doeth good like a medicine:
but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Proverbs 17: 22
There is a crisis in the laughter department, personally, and collectively as a nation. Thanks to my best-friend Betty, who had the funny bone of Carol Burnett, my teenage years were filled with hyena laughs, and hot- fudge-sundae’s coming out of my nose. Later, my “movie star” mentality took me knocking on Hollywood’s door – continuing to laugh my way through life. The mucky-muck of life wasn’t visible up there in those fluffy white clouds. When I started to view the world as it really was/is, and entered the world of political writing, suddenly there wasn’t much to laugh about. However, a few years ago, I decided I wanted to laugh again! I Love Lucy re-runs (the best sitcom ever produced) helped me along.
Humor is human. Real human beings laugh. However, power and money grabbing professions plus the seriousness of the times has stifled the laughter. Many are trapped in the darkness of their soul. Have you looked at the political scene lately – not much laughter going on there? That is because we think our future lies in the political process coming from Capitol Hill or the United Nations. We become concerned, angry, and confused at their insane decisions. Yet “we the people” are allowing the judges and elected officials to make a bad joke out of the greatest nation that has ever existed. If the transparent antics of some politicians weren’t so pathetic, they would be laughable.[11 Chronicles 7:14 is the only answer]
The Society for Ladies Who Laugh Out Loud, founded by Katherine Lyons, is one way to cheer up a listless and uneventful life. These ladies are determined to nurture emotional well-being with a little twist of humor – stamping out terminal seriousness. Lyons, a published author and former broadcaster has traveled the world in search of a good laugh. She and her ladies have the right idea! We take ourselves, other people, and perplexing issues, much too seriously!
Laughter comes in many forms and for different reasons. David L. Lander’s book, Fall Down Laughing, is one scenario. Lander is best known as Squiggy from the Lavern & Shirley Show (1976-1983). However, his new role is that of Ambassador for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, as he tours to raise awareness about MS. Lander suffers severely from this debilitating disease, however, the force of his humor has kept him going.
In this goal oriented culture we live in, many people are obsessively driven to seek money, a promotion, recognition, and all the things that we think are going to make us happy. We want more and more, while laughing less and less. Laughter is essential to good mental and physical health. It is a proven fact that laughing, especially a good belly laugh builds the immune system and strengthens the heart. It is also the most effective way to supply your brain with oxygen. More laughing – less doctor bills!
All laughter is not beneficial however. Those that laugh at evil, and are stimulated by it, are harming the very essence of what God created them to be. Most times these people self-destruct. Christian writer and speaker Melody Green says,” The gift of laughter may be one of our greatest blessings from God. Maybe that’s why the enemy (Satan) has corrupted humor the same way he’s corrupted music. Today’s humor is often crude, derogatory, or sexually exploitative. It makes fun of the weak, the needy and the different. I call this the easy “non-thinking” person’s type of humor. It’s just not creative.” [From every good and perfect gift from God, Satan creates a counterfeit]
Statistics show that people seek out uplifting entertainment, more so, during the times of trouble (war). The soul (mind, will, and emotions) can only handle so many downers. Therefore let us strive for a daily dose of contagious laughter – contaminating as many people as possible! LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, AND LET GOD GUIDE YOUR PATH.
April Shenandoah (Ambassador of Prayer) is the author of So…Help Me God! (An Inspired Letter/Book Addressed to President Clinton). Her spirit was ignited for God and Country after serving as the Los Angeles press contact for the Robertson presidential campaign. She serves on the board of The National Council of Bible Curriculum in Public Schools and ABC-Learn, Inc. Shenandoah is a regular columnist for The Tolucan Times in Los Angeles, CA, and etherzone.com.