Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tis The Season To Laugh

Laughter is a noisy and benevolent chain reaction of enthusiasm and encouragement, even in the face of tragedy, which is perhaps why we can laugh at it. 

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... 

On A Life Well Spent

The best Armor of Old Age is a well spent life
preceding it; a Life employed in the Pursuit of useful
Knowledge, in honorable Actions and the Practice of
Virtue; in which he who labors to improve himself from
his Youth, will in Age reap the happiest Fruits of them; 
not only because these never leave a Man, not even in the 
extremist Old Age; but because a Conscience bearing
Witness that our Life was well spent, together with
the Remembrance of past good Actions, yield
and unspeakable Comfort to the Soul. 

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