Now: A Good Time to Laugh

A smiley face balloon

Have you ever tried to laugh without having a reason? I’d recommend it. It’s cheaper than a beer and can be done anywhere at (most) anytime.  The practice goes like this: laugh and keep laughing. You may need to embrace the fake it ‘til you make it approach.

No matter how strange it feels in the initial moments, give it 2-3 minutes of your heartiest laughter.  This has not been FDA approved but I guarantee based off my personal experimentations both alone (a long commute after a stressful day is an ideal spot) or with friends that you will feel slightly better immediately after and your once forced laughter will slowly ease into a real laugh. Any situation you’re in will be given a certain lightness to it now cleansed through the waters of humor.

Laughter has become an odd spiritual tool of sorts for me the past few years, not a defense mechanism as is often cited but, rather, a form of deep surrender to whatever situation is at hand, a way to accept the world as it is and not feel overburdened by its weight.

A Franciscan blessing states:

May you be blessed with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference to the world—so that you can do what others claim cannot be done, to bring justice and kindness to our children and to the poor.

The above line has got me thinking lately about how much laughter, humor, and the aforementioned foolishness are vital threads on the road of social justice. I’ve been thinking about how much boldness and courage any individual, group, or organization needs to hold when taking any sort of step in the direction of social change despite the overt, loud roar of established practices and societal standards that could easily deter calls for an appreciation of a certain sense of foolishness and humor. You’d have to be a certain breed of “crazy” to think you can change the world.

I’m starting to see that a foolish, humorous disposition is not a weakness or a sign of naivete in the face of wanting to be a part of greater changes but a needed practice to help sustain me on the journey and a means to embrace the world as is and my limitations found within a day of making an impact on it.

I hope we all can be blessed with a few minutes to laugh our way deeper into an acceptance of our respective journey and enough foolishness to carry on with it.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

About Meghann Van Pelt

Meghann is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and has been fortunate to call many places home over the past few years. She graduated from Seton Hall University with a degree in sociology and has spent the years since then traveling by foot and bicycle, embracing her JV year in Portland, OR serving at Street Roots, the weekly street newspaper, and is currently working at a homeless services nonprofit in St. Louis but will likely be calling the road "home" again soon (there's just so much to explore!). She is an enthusiastic Yerba mate drinker and will go on a long stroll or hike at the drop of a hat.