The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed. – Nicolas de Chamfort
A cheerful disposition is good for your health; gloom and doom leave you bone-tired. – Proverbs 17:22
I greeted the morning as always, with curses on my lips directed at an annoying alarm clock that had the audacity to go off much too early. After a good stretch and a look by Braille for my glasses, I turned the TV on to catch up on all the news that I had missed since the 11 o’clock news cast the evening before. In a city the size of LA, there is always some sort of dour report to be had. Eventually I made my way out of bed, gave the desk a good whack, cursed at the dog for getting in my way and then watched as the eerie incandescent light of the computer screen lit up the dining room. The blazing headlines showed death and destruction and the very ruin of the fabric of society. If I was smart I would have climbed back into bed and stayed there…forever.
After packing lunches, feeding the dog and grabbing a strong cup of coffee, I headed back to bed. Tired of the doom and gloom blasting me from the morning talking heads, I flipped through the guide to see what other offerings TVLand had. And then I saw it…Vicki Lawrence playing an old, loud-mouth, beer-swilling, church-going, idiot children supporting grandmother in Mama’s Family! Hallelujah! I was saved!! As I watched back-to-back episodes, I was inspired! You may think I’ve taken total leave of my senses to watch such an asinine show, but you’d be wrong! As I watched Thelma Harper very adeptly slice and dice her idiot son down to nothing, I laughed at the pure stupidity of it all. I laughed!
All too often my days are not started by laughter. Most of the time I rather feel like Jack Nicholson straight out of The Shining. As lunches are packed, dog fed, school uniform dug out of the dirty close hamper, a nine-year-old told the umpteenth time to brush his teeth and hair, I begin to think that the world is as ugly as the headlines. And that translates into too little laughter at the start of the day and perhaps throughout the remainder of the day as well.
As the daylight streamed through the windows and bounced off of my shiny hardwood floors, I was reminded of a verse in Philippians that instructs us to think on things that are good, things that make us laugh a little. In a world that surrounds us with headlines that are dark and foreboding, it’s important to smile. It’s important to laugh! I’m beginning to think that my life has revolved a bit too much around that dull and dark goings on with Washington perpetrating war, death and destruction on the news, not to mention small-mindedness the world over and too little time watching Comic View on BET.
Some talking heads of a certain ilk consistently brow-beat our society with a talk about a “culture of life.” They leave us feeling as if we are either complicit or complacent when it comes to the destruction of the moral fabric of our society. Somehow they’ve figured out that fear sells. Yet the more I’m coming to understand my complex make-up, the more I’m realizing that fear kills. If I’m scared, I don’t take time to laugh and when I don’t laugh my bones start to dry up, figuratively and maybe even literally. I’ve decided that to have and live in a “culture of life”, then I need to start to cut out some of the crap the fear-mongers in Washington and on the newscasts are selling me. I need to start to incorporate laughter! Our world is only as bright as the light we use to view it with. If all we see are dark shadows, we will be a very miserable people.
Tomorrow, I will purposefully look for someway to start my day off with laughter! Wasted days have come all too often lately and the only way to bring about a change is to make this conscious decision to spend a little time each day with a smile on my face and a laugh on my lips. It’s time to take back my world and spread a true “culture of life”, not one that teaches war as the answer to all of life’s problems. Rather a culture that starts the day with laughter because when we have laughter, we have peace.
Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. – Philippians 4:8