Part I: THE PACIFIC OCEAN
Part II: BIG NUMBERS
Part III: THE YOUNG: Babies, toddlers and teens
Part IV: LAUGHTER: A peek into the soul
I'm a sucker for this one. It's not only laughter, which offers a peek into an individual's soul.... it's the power of a smile, the lighter heart, the joy of living. The world is a serious place... no one gets out alive. But to live on a globe half-empty makes time spent a tough slog when compared to the joy to be had on a globe half-full. Laughter is just one very public indication of a person trying to keep in balance with life's ups and downs.
Ever walk down the street with a smile and nod to the strangers walking toward you? Most smile back... not counting the few who think you are an idiot. However, this is absolutely guaranteed to give at least one person--you--a lighter step. And you can be sure it affects a few more than that.
For something to be funny, it only has to amuse one person... you. Anything after that is a bonus. Example: Comedian Emo Phillips said, "I used to think that the human brain was the most fascinating part of the body. But then I realized, Well... look what's telling me that!" See how happy that made me?
Do you know a person can actually die of a broken heart? (Check out the Mayo Clinic's take on broken-heart syndrome.) There is unhappiness in life and we have to deal with it best we can. Then, there are other times... lots more of them... that better defines us.
A lighter heart is a free, not-toxic, over-the-counter drug that is good for almost anything that may ail you. The welcome side-effect is that it is infectious.
Robin Williams tells this story: Bono was performing a benefit in Scotland before a crowded house. He started slowly clapping his hands and told his audience, "Every time I clap my hands, an elephant dies in Africa!" A man in the back row stood up and hollered, "THEN FOR GOD'S SAKE MAN, STOP CLAPPING YOUR HANDS!" See?
A sense of humor represents more 'life in balance' than almost anything else because it comes from the reflection of the world as seen through your eyes. Carry a grudge... seek revenge... harbor hate... see seven shades of gray... fail to appreciate life's delights? Then my friend, I'm sad for you because you only have one crack at it.
Live life to your principles... WITH GUSTO! What that does for the soul... that is something that amazes me most.
Elsie had it right: (with thanks to Fred Ebb and John Kander who created the song and Lisa Minelli who made it come alive in Cabaret.)