This I Believe...Humor is Essential

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I believe that being able to see the humor in life is essential to survival. That is the biggest lesson my family has ever taught me.

On my mother’s side of my family, there have been deaths, births, near-death experiences, evictions, break-ups, hospitalizations, divorces, and remarriages. Each and every person has a unique story to tell, but I have never met more good-humored people in my life.

My grandparents have never been the most efficient people when it comes to finances. When my mom and uncles were kids, they moved several times due to their inability to afford the places they were occupying. My grandparents have worked all their lives at jobs that just managed to make ends meet. Today, they have been happily married for about 42 years and living in the same house for eight. Their ability to laugh at the tough situations they dealt with has brought them through life intact and at ease. With five children, fourteen grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter, they are two of the most content people in the world.

My uncles greatly contributed to the humor my grandparents survived with. Between the three of them, no one can be in their presence without having side stitches from all the laughing. Anything can become a joke or funny story in an instant when they are around. Of the three, one has been divorced and doesn’t get to see his son who moved with my ex-aunt. One suffered breakups with several serious girlfriends and a fiancée. Today, they are all happily married with beautiful, smart children who are just as fun to be with as their parents.

My mom definitely did not miss out on the “funny bone” either. She grew up with three brothers, moving constantly, and with very little money in her family. Then, when I was seven, she went through a divorce with my dad. This awful divorce nearly ruined her. Her ability to laugh at life pulled her through and made her who she is today. Because my mom can see the humor in everyday situations, she survived the divorce and remarried to her high school sweetheart. She has also passed the humor gene on to my sister and I. We lived through our parents’ divorce largely because of our sense of humor.

I believe that laughter, while it might not solve all of the world’s problems, is essential when it comes to dealing with the lemons life throws at you sometimes. My family has shown me that being able to laugh at myself and my situations will make life much more bearable. Sitting around the table during every holiday over the years, I have watched and learned from these people how to look at life with a smile on my face and a joke on my tongue. The quick wit and humor that has been instilled in me by my family has helped me survive my parents’ divorce and school. That same humor and wit will bring me through the transition to college I will encounter in the fall, and I find true comfort in knowing that I have these weapons on my side. I most certainly believe that humor is essential to survival.





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