“Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is by far the best ending for one.”
– The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Taken from my latest foray into classical literature, this quote caught my fancy the moment I saw it. I can’t say whether I find that it’s true from experience. However, I do think laughter is important to living, and all our best friendships will be full of it. We instinctively like laughing. We try to make other people laugh. It makes us feel better. It collapses social barriers and decorates our memories. I don’t know how my friendships will end, but it would be great if they ended with laughter.
I got to thinking, and wondered whether there was some way to tie in laughing with Pentecost, which the Catholic Church celebrates today. Is there a way to connect laughter with God’s outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the apostles in the Upper Room?
I think I can make this work.
When we laugh, we are, in a way, defenseless. We’re honest. We are moved to the action. It’s like we’re opening up our spirit to the world.
The Holy Spirit moved the apostles to action when they were waiting apprehensively. All of a sudden, they opened themselves to the world. They left their sanctuary and proceeded to utterly flummox a whole lot of people, thanks to the Holy Spirit.
But, the Holy Spirit would not have been able to move them so if they hadn’t been open to God’s will. God respects the free will he gifted us.
Sometimes, it’s not a good idea to laugh (for example, in the middle of a church service), but sometimes, the world gets in danger of being a dreadfully dour place. If we have the opportunity, we should try to spread some joy to those around us. If we can be open to these opportunities, then I believe we can make the world a better place, even if we do flummox some people.
I pray the the Holy Spirit will bless all of you, and hey, don’t forget to smile.
P.S. For your laughing (or groaning) pleasure, here’s a really corny joke I once heard:
Two muffins are sitting in an oven. The first muffin says “Gee, don’t you think it’s hot in here?” The other muffin replies, “Holy crap, it’s a talking muffin!”
Also, did you know you can’t explain metaphor to kleptomaniacs? They take things literally.
Alright I’ll stop.