By : Bret Gornik
I've had to switch things up over the last month. Mainly, the way I move around Chicago. I am a Divvyer (meaning I ride the blue bikes EVERYWHERE around Chicago - last year I did over 900 miles). But, because I only have one arm, I've had to walk and take the "L" a lot more. This has slowed me down, but in a good way. I've noticed people a lot more. I am very observant. I pick up people's emotions through their mannerisms, their posture, and their tone of voice. As I was walking down State Street a few days ago, two friends turned the corner, and I didn't hear the joke, but one all of a sudden bursts out in laughter, and I mean tears streaming down the face, about to pee his pants, almost having a heart attack laughing. And all I could do was die laughing too. In this moment, the city slowed down, I had no thoughts about my shoulder, where I was going, or what was coming up next, I was in the moment and enjoying the feeling.
Remember the last time this happened to you, you walked into a conversation and at that split second someone just falls on the floor laughing, you have no idea the context, but you immediately join in! Laughter, just like yawns, is contagious.
Laughter is one of my favorite things. The definition of laughter is, "to make the spontaneous sounds and movements of the face and body that are the instinctive expressions of lively amusement and sometimes also of contempt or derision." Think about the last time you uncontrollably laughed - might have been at a Jerry of The Day video, MoveU video, your dad trying to make a funny joke, or after the most awkward situation ever. Remember the exact moment. Remember the feelings. Remember the joy. Remember the people. Now, right now. How do you feel? You probably just giggled a little about the moment. You feel warm. You feel good! That's the power of laughter.
Laughter brings us joy. There is an obvious physical component, but the feeling is something else. Remember the last time you made someone laugh their ass off. You told a story about a time in college and the whole room LIT UP. Again, right now... how do you feel? That slight sense of jubilation mixed with fulfillment. Making others laugh is something special. Being able to add humor to someone's day makes them happier and when you are happier, you do more good. Laughter is a catalyst to positivity.
As the famous Jimmy Valvano once said, "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." Think about this and try and laugh every single day! Make it a part of your day. It's so important.
As I have had to slow down over the last month, due to my injury, I have become a lot more grateful for the little things. I have noticed more about people. I spend more time with others. I connect. Laughter has kept me going. Seeing someone smile when I say, or most likely do, something funny fills me with joy and any discomfort or pain I'm in washes away.
I've always loved to laugh. I try to find humor in most situations. I use the best day ever mindset to enjoy the moment. Now more than ever, laughter brings me so much joy. It's incredible the healing effects it can have on the body. Sometimes, it takes something serious, like a broken collarbone, to take a step back and realize how something so simple, like laughter is so vital to life. When you are around others that brighten your day, you are a better person.
Make someone laugh today.