My Turn by Patti Kadick: An ode to laughter

Published 10:24 am Monday, October 27, 2014

A good laugh is not always easy to come by. But a beautiful challenge to gloom, changing dark moments into light hearts.

This got me to musing. That after all is said and done, whatever we’re thinking any given moment makes a difference — for good or bad. Not just for ourselves. Scripture says there’s “a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.” Yet today I decide to rewrite this popular verse to say ‘’there’s always time to laugh and time to dance!’’

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter,” wrote e.e. cummings. Why not chose to have happy bright laughing days!

Remember the scene in “Mary Poppins” when Ed Wynn, Dick Van Dyke, and the kids float on the ceiling, laughing and laughing and laughing. Was the key that their laughter came from each other, not making fun of or mocking anyone? No bully no victim. Pure innocent joy. Well of course, floating on a ceiling . . . just hilarious.

Then how about Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” — which of course do not exist — and a child blurts out, ‘’he’s wearing nothing at all.’’ Only then does the crowd have courage to stand up, laughing, calling out as well, ‘’he’s wearing nothing at all.’’ Not to mock the emperor, but to not be mocked themselves and reveal a dishonest ruse.

It’s a matter of perspective, isn’t it? For me, the thought of bullying, of rampant disease and hatred, reinforces the need to find laughter, a true happy-dance. Moment by moment making a difference. To not be mocked. To reveal the ruse.

Reading of an Iraqi’s response to the horrific brutality by ISIS, in his own backyard really — my heart did a happy-dance. The article, in “The Christian Science Monitor” newspaper (Oct. 1), stunned and awed me. Titled ‘’Fighting horror with humor,’’ it references Iraqi cartoons, in print and online. Made me think of young David running head first at Goliath . . . The article quotes veteran Iraqi cartoonist Diyaa al-Haijjar, known also for his children storybooks, as saying: “… what is beautiful about what is happening today is that there is no fear, especially among the young generation. They are attacking [ISIS] on Facebook, on TV, and online through animations.” The article continues, “Online, skits and animations poking fun at IS jihadists pop up all the time on YouTube.”

Thoughtful standing up to hate and greed and violence. Intelligent laughter and dancing hearts are powerful. Laughter and good humor lift off heaviness and gloom. And the ripple effect, everywhere — home, street, school, work, the highway — cannot be measured. Nor can the urgent need be measured.

Why not refuse anger, fear, judgments a place in our hearts? Accepting instead the power that kind-humor brings. That intelligent reasoning spreads. And watch hearts empty of fear, even of physical pain, as delight dances them away. I can see many of you nodding in agreement; for it’s our innate right to take charge of what we want to think. Does require a selection process: accepting joy, defeating gloom; honoring generosity, refusing criticism; delighting in gratitude, not griping. Agreeing to joy and delight. Agreeing to laugh. Agreeing to disagree with evil — bit by bit. Taking charge against hatred, fear. Arrogant rightness.

For me the only way to success in that goal is to let an elegant quiet take me away.

And in awe of every-woman-man-girl-boy’s efforts to promote love and courage in the face of hate and violence. . . with a kick of my heels and a laugh in my heart, I leave you with this: “… remember, a pure faith in humanity will subject one to deception; the uses of good, to abuses from evil; and calm strength will enrage evil. But the very heavens shall laugh at them, and move majestically to your defense when the armies of earth press hard upon you” (Mary Baker Eddy).

So I remind myself, have a generous laughing heart and float on the ceiling … join me?

Patti Kadick lives in Salisbury. This first appeared on her blog: