I dragged myself out of bed today, practically sleepwalked to work and made my way around the office with a storm cloud looming over my head for most of the morning. Roughly thirty minutes ago I popped into the cafeteria to grab some lunch. I ordered the same thing I order everyday (creature of habit) and our house caterer said with an utterly blank face, “We don’t have any .” I paused, “So…uh…you ran out for today?” He responded still with an utterly serious expression, “We don’t serve it anymore.” Another pause from me accompanied by what must have been a flicker of desperation in my eyes, “What so it’s been taken off the menu?” Another pause as my eyes dart down to find a plan B on the menu, “No more salad of any kind, ever?” At which point he buckled and called his own bluff. I erupted in laughter along with him and his wife (who was already prepping my order behind the scenes) and was instantly reminded how easily laughter energises the soul and even the body.
It has also been my experience that, as Victor Borge puts, laughter is the shortest distance between two people. It brings us together and deepens the bonds and even the burdens we share, “If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, of seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you will get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man,” said Fyodor Dostoyevsky. W.H. Auden had a similar take on laughter’s essential function in relationships, “Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can; all of them make me laugh.”
It was Martin Luther that said, “You have as much laughter as you have faith.” I hope that I will always be able to live with a wealth of both laughing at and through the days to come.