International Joke Day – a reminder to smile and enjoy life

By Eugene Clark
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, July 1, 2015
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July 1 is International Joke Day and, in my opinion, the world could sure do with a little levity and laughter right now through jokes and other forms of humor. People today have become far too serious. We need to lighten up and not take ourselves too seriously.

Laughter is a great gift and the spirit of having fun is one that lifts the hearts of all and makes life worth living. In terms of physical health, medical evidence shows that laughter can help us to cope with pain, relaxes the muscles, relieves tension and therefore is good for the heart and circulatory system, and boosts our immune system. In fact, humor and laughter are so beneficial that there are clubs where people get together and laugh. Even fake laughter will, if sustained, eventually lead to the genuine thing and result insubstantial health benefits.

Mentally, laughter improves our mood, releases chemicals that ease stress and generally adds joy to our lives. As Charlie Chaplin noted: "A day without laughter is a day wasted." As Grenville Kleiser concluded: "Good humor is a tonic for the mind and body. It is the best antidote for anxiety and depression. It attracts and keeps friends. It lightens human burdens. It is the direct route to serenity and contentment."

Socially, laughter can relieve the tension in meeting, be persuasive, enhance sex appeal, promote group cohesion and strengthen relationships between people. Not surprisingly, one of the most beautiful and lovely people in the world, actress Audrey Hepburn, proclaimed: "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."

Laughter helps us to keep things in perspective. As Francis Bacon observed: "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is." Christopher Morley similarly noted that "Humor is perhaps a sense of intellectual perspective: an awareness that some things are really important, others not; and that the two kinds are most oddly jumbled in everyday affairs."

Not only is humor good for the individual and group, it is good for the nation. As J. B. Priestley concluded: "Comedy, we may say, is society protecting itself – with a smile."

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