On Laughter


From Wilferd Peterson Essay The Art of Laughter found in his book  The Art of Living

Meet the challenge of life with the art of laughter….Take a tip from Will Rogers who observed people with laughter in eyes and love in his heart and declared: “I never met a man I didn’t like.”

Learn laughter from little children by thinking their thoughts, dreaming their dreams and playing their games.

Develop a playful attitude toward problems; toss them around; handle them with a light touch.

Practice the advice of the psychiastrist who  gives his normal patients this prescription: “Don’t take yourself so damned seriously.”

Use laughter as a safety valve to keep yourself sane and relaxed.  Emerson said it well: “The perception of the Comic is a tie of sympathy with other men, a pledge of sanity. We must learn by laughter as well as by tears and terror.”

Remember the old proverb: ” A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”

Consider the power of laughter to prick the balloons of pretense and to deflate stuffed shirts.

Inject laughter into tense situations to save the day; laughter calms tempers and soothes jangled nerves.

Use laughter to set healing vibrations into motion – to fill a room with the sunshine of good cheer.

Tell the funny story on yourself to that the laugh is on you;  always laugh with others never at them.

Look for the funny side of your difficulties; impersonal contemplation is the secret of laughter and perspective.

Most of all, learn to laugh at yourself; meet each day with a sense of humor.

Laughter is the best medicine for a long and happy life.

He who laughs…..lasts!



  1. James Thurber

    Humor is emotional chaos remembered in tranquility.
  2. Christian Morgenstern

    Humor is the contemplation of the finite from the point of view of the infinite.
  3. Sara Davidson

    The ability to laugh at life is right at the top, with love and communication, in the hierarchy of our needs.  Humour has much to do with pain; it  exaggerates the anxieties and absurdities we feel, so that we  gain distance and through laughter, relief.
  4. Peter Ustinov

    Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.
  5. Karll Barth

    Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.
  6. Victor Borge

    Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
  7. Carol Burnett

    Comedy is tragedy - plus time.
  8. Aldous Huxley

    Nonsense is an assertion of man's spiritual freedom in spite of all the oppressions of circumstance.
  9. Will Rogersi

    We are all here for a spell, get all the good laughs you can.
  10. Sara Jeannette Duncan

    One loses so many laughs by not laughing at oneself.

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