I love laughter. I love to make people laugh, and I love to laugh. Some of the memories I cherish most are memories of laughter with friends and loved ones. Even when I think back on times when it wasn’t completely appropriate—laughing with my buddy during class while the teacher is trying to teach—even though I know now that it wasn’t a very respectful thing to do, it still brings me joy to recall my friend’s laughter and the childish jokes we were making at the time.
I also really love how impulsive and uncontrollable laughter can be—like a sneeze. There is nothing like the feeling of an irrepressible smile. When my sense of humor is struck just right, like a funny bone, something is tugged inside of me and I have the impulse to burst into laughter.
The people who make me laugh most are the people who know me best. Sometimes I even make myself chuckle. Whatever the source, my laughter is always a strong reminder that at least part of me in that moment must be truly happy. When I can share that moment of happiness with someone I deeply care about, it’s even more of a pleasure. And when I am the one making the other person laugh—someone I love—it feels like a blessing.
International Day of Happiness gives us a chance to think about the importance of something we take for granted most of the year—our instinctive capacity for joy, for a smile or a laugh. No matter whether we are in a sober environment and we have a case of the giggles against our better judgment, or whether we are pouting and someone makes us chuckle in spite of ourselves—whatever the circumstances—laughter is truly a gift to hold dear.
Jacob Ross has supported the 14Y Membership and Marketing Departments at the 14th Street Y, and is involved in employment support programs through JobPath.