Good medicine for troubled times

This I Know | A Bainbridge Youth Services platform for young voices

  • Thursday, June 11, 2020 1:18pm
  • Opinion

By Jonas Michael

You don’t need a parachute to go skydiving. You need a parachute to go skydiving twice.

Laughter is important in life because without laughter, there would be no fun. People laugh because it is a sign of understanding and having a good time. When people share laughter, they can become connected.

When people are experiencing hard times, laughter can help turn their situation around or make them feel better. It can also work as an inspiration. There is a saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” and I firmly believe that is true.

Ever since I was little, I always liked to tell jokes. My dad would tell me lots of jokes, and I would practice saying jokes by memorizing and re-telling them to my relatives. When I was in the hospital after having surgery for my thyroid cancer, my friend Aidan sent me a container full of jokes written on small pieces of rolled-up paper. The container with the jokes was a round plastic cylinder like a bin of take-out food, but instead of being full of food, it was full of humor. The little pieces of paper had a joke or riddle printed on one side and the punch line or answer on the other. When my grandparents and relatives came to visit me in the hospital, I pulled out the joke bin, unrolled the paper, and started sharing them. We all laughed a lot. Our laughter made me forget about the pain I was experiencing, and this shared laughter started to make me feel a little better.

Comedians are professionals whose job is to make people laugh, which is a skill that can be difficult to do well. Comedians are the jesters of the king’s court or like the goggles of swimming, not absolutely necessary but they make things much better and easier. Comedians, though, have lots of skills, such as learning the timing of jokes, understanding their audience, and being frankly honest to a certain level. Many comedians can help people through rough times. For example, when I was in the hospital, my parents listened to Jim Gaffigan and said that it helped ease their fear and anxiety about how I was doing. There are also many comedic television shows too such as The Simpsons, or Family Guy, and watching them has helped me get through some tough stuff.

Humor causes laughter and laughter can provide momentary joy in difficult times. Laughter is a uniquely human behavior made to brighten people’s day. Laughter is important; so, go tell a joke. Do a funny dance. Make someone laugh.

This I Know is a Bainbridge Youth Services platform for youth voices. The monthly column showcases student beliefs, most often through their own stories. BYS is a nonprofit organization that offers free, confidential mental health counseling, free tutoring, and job services to youth 13 to 21 years old. For more info visit

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