Laughter and Endearment
The Battle for Inspiration
Being able to laugh or chuckle is a freedom that often fear to exercise. I think that probably individuals fear that laughter and joy are synonymous with ridicule and fear. In a very questionable social climate with everyone on edge about determining some underlying meaning for every statement (no matter how trivial) , it seems that laughing is not fashionable.
Or maybe, it is simply that society has forgotten how to just appreciate the strange nature of a given event, how it may conflict or coincide with a given perspective or generate a funny mental image. Humor helps us to savor a moment or even look at situation differently. Often, it can provide us with inspiration.
If you consider historical anecdotes (i.e. funny stories), a lot of great inventors have found success after comical events. Newton apparently either imagined an apple falling or some accounts say that he had an apple fall on him in order to discover gravity. Real or imagined, let's face it, it sounds entertaining and funny. Let me be clear, I wish no one to be injured, but if that happened to me without the presence of some major injury, I would laugh at my situation and self. Archimedes apparently was taking a bath and realized the concept of buoyancy. Stories where a kind of usual or dare I say, funny moment led to a significant change in understanding.
It is hard to find new views or inspiration if we never depart from a given path of thought. We have be shaken or plotted in a new path. Really, we have to find some form of stress that causes us to change. Stress, in itself, gets a negative connotation. But, if we did have stress, we would not change. We deem stress for positive change as Eustress, and stress that causes negative effects we term as Distress.
Eustress is present in several activities that we take part in daily. Working out in the gym to improve physically. Waking up early from our rest to work on breakfast. Endeavoring to work in order to gain financially (this may be a stretch, but a positive result can be seen in the bank account),
Distress also may occur with our lives as well. Sickness, fear, anxiety, drama, these can all cause our bodies and spirits to be injured. Prolonged Distress has been linked to several negative chronic health conditions ranging form depression to heart disease.
When we laugh, for a moment, we view something that challenges us. A thought, a situation, a moment is confronted by ourselves or something else. We are each put on the spot to emotionally engage and decide how we view or label the event. When we laugh, we accept our emotions and consider the underlying meaning.
So, mentally we let our emotions flow outward and in a way empty feelings that had been tightly bottled up inside. This also makes us increase our rate of breathing. We also have to tense and relax muscles in order to laugh. Then, we can move forward in our day with a reminder that something exciting happened which we may feel compelled to share with those close to ourselves. We socially refuse isolation and choose comradery. Lastly, we may cause others to do the same.
So, we are inspired to show ourselves and others that life is enjoyable in terms or laughter. But, you may ask, "Isn't laughter bad, especially because people ridicule others and that is bad, right?" Let's dive into ridicule a bit.
I look at laughter like stress, we just mentioned that stress in itself has both a positive form (Eustress) and a negative form (Distress). Laughter when shared to uplift all is positive and grows community. Ridicule is laughter weaponized to cause harm and isolates all with no communion. Ridicule even when agreed upon by a group to laugh at another group or individual binds those who ridicule to a flimsy alliance where all fear that they will be scrutinized at ridiculed at any given moment. Furthermore, ridicule never yields a message of looking at new perspective but tends to hold all down and asks them to not focus on introspection while discouraging another person or group.
So, I advocate joyous and uplifting laughter. Try it! Share a funny story with a friend. Learn to laugh at your faults. Enjoy yourself and others will enjoy being with you! Uplifting laughter is proof that you are alive.
The M.A.D. Dad
About the author
I call myself the M.A.D. Dad. M.A.D. stands for Martial Arts Direction. I want to help others battle the forces that threaten our peace with lessons that I have been blessed to discover through my experiences in both Martial Arts and Life.