When I was young, I would often wait until the precise moment when my sister had a mouthful of cereal before unleashing something silly or ridiculous. My only goal was to create sufficient laughter to cause the milk in her mouth to shoot out of her nose.  I was remarkably successful.

Growing up, I would often take any proverbial stage in an effort to make others laugh.  Sometimes doing imitations of comics like John Belushi or Robin Williams, more often making up original material on the spot. Throughout school, I was often one of the class clowns, set on making others laugh – even at the expense of myself or others.

In college and then later as a young adult, I was always surrounded by friends who were quick witted, gifted storytellers, and all around funny people. A merry band of Falstaffs. 

My wife has a spectacular laugh, often bringing her close to tears. Our youngest daughter is prone to snorting when she laughs. Our middle daughter’s is more guttural. Our oldest full of glee.

Many rightfully feel that there has not been much cause for laughter over the last year.

Or when it comes it is fleeting, more subdued, perhaps even met with some degree of guilt. Some things that we used to find funny are now inappropriate or insensitive. And of course, with fewer opportunities to be social, our opportunities to laugh with our convivial friends have been nearly nonexistent. 

This is not to say there have not been moments of joy.  In our home, we have reached back in the time machine for movies that would guarantee laughs, have induced laughter from our children with silly antics or momentary tickles fests. It has indeed proven that laughter can be the best medicine – even in small doses.

Yet as actual medicine goes into arms, more kids go back to school, more people go back to work and out into the world of friends and fun, laughter will likely return in full force to our social circles and public squares.

Just the thought of it brings a smile to my face. I think I’ll call my sister and check to see if she’s having cereal.

I hope you find a way to make someone – anyone – laugh today… and that someone gives you the same gift.

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