Laughter as a Tool

Emerald Connection, May 8, 2023

Our 8th grader highlight continues this week with a piece by Madeline Dhindsa-Bonin.

I believe in laughter. Laughter brings people together. A silly joke or a funny song can make two people forget about a fight they just had or something upsetting. I was listening to music with someone I had just met a few days ago and hadn’t ever really interacted with them yet and a funny song started playing. We burst into silent laughter, sitting in the library together just laughing. After that we became closer and started hanging out more, we would walk to class and study in the afternoons. Another time in class, my friend and I were talking. We had just gotten into a fight about something stupid. We made up and were just talking about school and afternoon activities. The conversation felt forced and I was upset that we were still mad at each other. As we were talking the teacher called us out so my friend and I went back to work. I looked up, and my friend was looking at me too, I started to laugh and so did my friend. We couldn’t stop; laughter had taken over. After that, it felt normal again and everything returned to how it was before the fight. Even though the teacher broke us up, it was worth it. Laughter helps people deal with hard things, helps people understand things that are hard to wrap your mind around or uncomfortable to talk about.  

I say I watch the news, but in reality, I watch comedians retell the news in funny ways. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, has opened my eyes to so much about our world. It has also made me laugh so hard the neighbors could hear me. During the show John Oliver talks about the most pressing issues, but then he’ll talk about the most random topic ever. People sometimes take things too seriously. There are always times to be serious but at the same time, you should be able to laugh through those times. When you laugh through those times, it can help to understand what is going on and it can help you remember. That’s why I like Last Week Tonight so much, it makes me want to help even though it would be easier to forget about it. Making someone laugh is no easy task, but it is an important one. 

Once, I was at the pool with my cousin and he had taken to jumping into the pool. He is only five, so he was jumping from a foot high into very shallow water. It was time to leave, and I finally convinced him to get out of the pool. It took some negotiation and by the end of it I owed him a pajama party. When we got out of the pool and went over to my aunt to get all packed up, then my aunt noticed my cousin’s foot was bleeding. He looked down, and started to wail. His mom had him stand to the side, while she got the first aid kit. While we were waiting, I took on the job to distract him. It was a hard task since he was little, and freaking out. I tried to calm him down by telling him this has happened to me before, but I couldn’t even keep eye contact with him. So I made that a game, I moved my head around and tried to look him in the eyes. I would look up and then he would look down and he started to forget about his foot. He started laughing and calmed down a little. We left, and at the house got him all cleaned up. He was very proud to show off his bandage on his foot to our uncle and we watched his favorite movie, Cars. Because I made him laugh, for only a second, he calmed down and we were able to clean up his foot. Laughter is very powerful and it is a tool I would like to use more and hope others use as well.