Laughing at tragedy doesn't make someone callous. It makes them human. "Frame your mind to mirth and merriment, which bars a thousand harms and lengthens life." Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew.
Growing up, I read that laughter was the best medicine. It was woven throughout The Reader's Digest, which endured because of this very truism. This message was mirrored back to me by my loving grandparents. I'm proud to say I was blessed with a grandmother and two great-grandmothers to guide me in this understanding.
These wonderful ladies who lived through many generations of fascinating history taught me the art of conversation. The art of story telling. I sat fascinated, hanging on every word of their many adventures. They ignited in me a passion for living, and a passion for life.
They shared with me the gist of their life stories, which naturally conveyed the same message over and over again. The same logical and heartfelt conclusion hit you by the end of every punchline, which was hilariously funny in a sobering way. Their stories left me forever mindful.
Cicero's poem "On a Life Well Spent" beautifully and poignantly shares what was lovingly passed onto me. It's my pleasure this morning to pass it back along to anyone would find it of value. Whether it is the first time you hear these words or a gentle reminder, it is impossible to read them aloud and not simultaneously find yourself regenerated by their truth in a way that ignites your passion and subsequent ability to laugh at life in all its triumphs and tragedies. Laughter truly is good medicine, and at this time of year, the best gift idea. For it really is the *season to laugh...