My Feature Articles

What Makes You Laugh?

The funny thing about humor is that laughing at ourselves is a healthy practice. In all seriousness, nowadays, we need this more than ever. We can’t take ourselves too seriously all the time. Yes, there are times when we must be serious, sit up, or rather stand up for something important, and I’m all for that. I am.

In order to combat our culture’s emphasis on striving for perfection, I think we need to come to terms with the fact that perfection is elusive and unattainable. Then we can get on with being real and honest with ourselves. (I don’t mean we should all air out your dirty laundry for  the world to see, but we can let our humanity show a bit, and then tuck it back in when need be.)

It has been my experience that a healthy sense of humor is essential to make it through each day. Time and again, history has shown that the ability to laugh and joke when times are tough helos to make life better.

Think about people and societies or nations who have been through struggles, famine, persecution, hardship, natural disasters and such. The ones who come out stronger are the ones who can joke about where they find themselves. I was born in South Africa, I know this first hand. South Africans know how to laugh. You can’t get them down. It’s the truth.

You may have heard of the serenity prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr. My mother used to quote this verse all the time. A valuable sentiment to be sure. It begins like this:


If I were to adjust a verse to match my own perspective it would be:

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to write about the things I can;

and laughter to endure the rest.

Disclaimer: Laughing at someone, instead of WITH them, can be harmful. It is safe to laugh at yourself.

Melony Teague is a Freelance Writer and Columnist who lives in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The Biographer for Portraits of Giving (2014-2016), Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (2015 -2017) and teaches seniors in her community how to write their personal story.