FRIDAY, APRIL 20: When people laugh with us, it’s a good feeling that we are quick to share with others to enjoy.
When people laugh at us, we are left with hurt feelings and oftentimes, too embarrassed to share with others the humour others found at our expense.
When we laugh at ourselves, we hope no-one will ever know the reason why, but we enjoy the chuckle privately.
As I opened last Friday’s Bermuda Sun and realized the article I had submitted was a week ahead of time, I immediately began laughing at myself.
Normally I’m pushing myself to meet all sorts of deadlines which, I must say, I do very well as a master multi-tasker. Being ahead by a whole week left me feeling exceptionally proud of myself — but unfortunately, the article probably threw a few readers off; they were expecting my radio show last Monday evening to be on the topic of the role of grandparents.
So today I share my embarrassing moment as a digression to the topic at hand — laughter!
Over the years I’ve heard people tell me to smile.
I’ve never been one to walk about with a permanent grin on my face but those who know me, or have spent any significant amount of social time in my presence, know that I love to laugh — despite my normal serious demeanour. I find the humour in many things that others get up tight about.
In any venue I find myself, I often look at the faces of people in my presence and of late, what I see commonly is long faces reflecting the stress and anger of daily challenges. People with scowled faces as a result of getting pent up over a minor matter are a constant source of amusement for me. Oh, what stress! Is it worth it?
Even with my own fair share of personal challenges, I like to interject a spark of laughter for others around me.
Laughter is healthy. Research has shown that it relieves stress, increases pain tolerance, and supports the immune system. With that knowledge, wouldn’t it make sense to laugh as much as we can?
Conversely, could the lack of laughter be directly contributed to one’s premature demise?
There is so much to laugh at on TV, in the movies and in situations around us. We may even be surprised to discover what we can laugh at within the walls of our homes.
And if many of us are lucky enough to have children in the house, we can certainly attest to the fact that many of the things they do and say can keep our sides busting on a regular basis.
Comedian Yakov Smirnoff said: “Everybody laughs the same in every language because laughter is a universal connection.”
So today I encourage you to find something to laugh at — and don’t be surprised if the topic of laughter may just be yourself.
Oh — and about that article on grandparents that was submitted a week early: Be sure to read it here because that will be the focus of the next topic on Generations on Monday, April 23.
Please email me your feedback on the role of grandparents and young people, if you have any funny stories about your grandparents that will give us a laugh, send them in.
• Shawnette Somner is the host of Generations, which airs on DeFontes’ Broadcasting Company’s MIX106 FM. 7.30pm-9pm every Monday. Call in live during the show on 295-1061. Send comments and show ideas to: