Laughter is the elixir of life. A fun loving spirit, a light hearted moment can soothe a troubled soul, erase a slight, diffuse anger, give comfort and solace to the hurting, and even enhance physical and mental well being. Laughter in the work place helps people focus more intently on their work and makes them more creative and productive. Promoting fun in the work place and an attitude of creativity and light heartedness will benefit the bottom line of any business. Humor is everywhere and the benefits of humor, which is laughter, should be promoted. A sense of humor in the work place makes sense. When you laugh at the jokes your Boss makes, it may not prove you have a sense of humor but it will prove that you have sense. In my many years of laughing and promoting laughter I have come to the conclusion that laughter is the best medicine for a long and happy life. He who laughs’s lasts, and a merry heart with malice towards none produces what I call “The Laff-Attitudes.”

Hopefully you are familiar with the beatitudes in the Bible. In Matthew chapter five we read the words taught by Jesus who began, “blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those who mourn, those who are meek, those who hunger and thirst, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted”, and so on. Borrowing from this theme created by the master teacher I have come up with what I called the “Laff-attitudes.” Because laughter is so beneficial to humankind, because I believe in promoting laughter and levity in my life and in the circles I travel in, I want to share these with you. Laughter truly is a medicine that can heal, and soothe, and bring joy to a person. Light heartedness is good for the soul. It’s actually better than “chicken soup for the soul” if I may say so without stepping on the toes of my speaker friends Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hanson, who wrote the immensely popular series “Chicken soup for the Soul.”

Enjoy the “Laff-Attitudes.”

1.  Happy are the poor in spirit when they are uplifted with laughter.

2.  Happy are those who are sad when they enjoy a good laugh.

3.  Happy are the meek when they are made gregarious with laughter.

4.  Happy are those who hunger and thirst for fun and light heartedness, when it comes on the wings of laughter.

5.  Happy are those who are warm, and kind, and friendly and filled with laughter.

6.  Happy are the pure in heart when they share laughter without malice.

7.  Happy are those who make peace and soothe the troubled world with laughter.

8.  Happy are those who are put down and assailed when they can respond in laughter.

9.  Happy are those who can respond with gentility and laughter when others abuse them.

10. Happy are those who don’t take things so seriously, especially themselves.

There is even an 11th Laff-attitude that I discovered recently. It says, happy is the person who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” I don’t particularly adhere to that philosophy but I do think it is funny. Personally, I expect a lot out of life, my work, my family, and myself. I expect every morning to get up and I expect to laugh several hundred times a day because I expect to find the humor and laughter in life. I am serious about humor and concerned about business and global events and circumstance but there is something deep within my being that wants to seek out humor and laughter amidst the common ordinary things we all encounter.

I’ve come across people over the years who eschew laughter and humorous things. In turn, I try to make it a point to eschew these people. When I find people who like to laugh I do my best to hang around them. More has been accomplished by well rounded people with a good sense of humor than has ever been accomplished by those who act as if they were weaned on dill pickle juice when they were children and who carry a perpetual sadness about them and who cannot enjoy the simple benefits of a good laugh. A sour disposition and attitude is negative and it is a downer. A merry heart, a happy heart, a happy attitude is contagious and beneficial not only to those who possess it but to those it is shared with.  Most of us show our character by what we laugh about. We also show our heart and soul in our attitudes when we are incapable of being light hearted and when we cannot laugh at the foibles of life and living.

Some religious people seem to think that laughter is a frivolity and we should concentrate on being serious and spiritual. But some of the most spiritual people I know and have read about historically have seen spirituality and laughter as both beneficial and as a gift given to us by God.

After a hard day’s work in serious spiritual discussions, Theodore Cuyler and Charles H. Spurgeon went out into the country together for a vacation. They roamed the fields in high spirits like boys let loose from school, chatting and laughing, and free from care. Dr. Cuyler had just told a funny story at which Pastor Charles Spurgeon laughed uproariously. Then he turned to Dr. Cuyler and said, “Theodore, let’s kneel down and thank God for laughter.”

There on the green grass, under the trees, two of the world’s greatest men and theologians knelt down and thanked God for the bright and joyous gift of laughter. There is no antagonism between spirituality and laughter. One is conclusive evidence of spiritual health and the other is evidence of physical and mental health.

William Makepeace Thackeray said, “A good laugh is sunshine in the house.” A humorist friend of mine says, “Laughter and a smile is that little light in your eyes that lets people know your heart is at home.” Use, enjoy, encourage your “Laff-Attitudes” at every turn. He who laughs lasts. A merry heart does good like a medicine. Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you simply get wet.

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