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Do you need a good laugh?

Dr. David L. Chancey's picture

The new Volkswagen commercial is great. In an attempt to lighten the mood during this intense presidential campaign, Volkswagen launched its “Why VW?” ad campaign with a spot featuring robust laughter. The spot is appropriately entitled “Smiles.”

The 30-second commercial shows people laughing uncontrollably, starting with babies and concluding with senior adults. They don’t show what prompted the laughter, and they don’t mention Volkswagen until the end, when they direct viewers to a website. They close with this slogan: “It’s not the miles, but how you live them.” Brilliant!

I need a laugh like that now and then, and it’s refreshing to see unbridled laughter. Study after study shows that people who laugh benefit tremendously.
One site shared hearty laughter reduces stress hormones; strengthens the immune system; promotes good mental health; burns calories; manages pain; helps dissolve anger; promotes and strengthens interpersonal relationships; is good for the soul; is great for kids; and improves creativity, alertness and memory. (www.insurancequotes.com., “10 Incredible Benefits of Laughter,” February 29, 2012).

Research reveals that children laugh an average of 100 to 400 times a day, while adults laugh only 15 times a day. Maturing is one thing, but we need to keep that sense of humor and the ability to laugh.

Maybe we need to rediscover that a merry heart does good like medicine (Proverbs 17:22).

One of my Facebook friends posted recently about the recent loss in the entertainment world. The man who wrote “The Hokey Pokey” died. What was really horrible was that they had trouble keeping the body in the casket. They’d put the right leg in and . . . well, you know the song, so you can imagine what happened. (Thanks, Bill!).

Three guys were pulled out of detective training for a special “pep talk” because they weren’t doing very well. A high ranking detective was interrogating them to determine if they were smart enough to continue, or if they needed to be dismissed from training.

To test their skills in recognizing a suspect, he showed the first trainee a picture for five seconds and then hid it.

“This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?” The first guy responded, “That’s easy, we’ll catch him fast because he only has one eye!”

The detective said, “Well, that’s because the picture only shows his profile.”

Slightly flustered, the detective flashed the picture and asked the second trainee, “This is your suspect. How would you recognize him?

The second guy laughed, rolled his eyes and said, “He’d be too easy to catch because he only has one ear!”

The lead detective angrily responded, “What’s the matter with you two? Of course he only has one eye and one ear showing because this is a picture of his profile. Is that the best you can do?”

Then he quizzed the third trainee. Showing the same profile shot, he asked, “This is your suspect, how would you recognize him?”

The guy studied the picture intently for a moment and said, “The suspect wears contact lenses.”

The lead detective was surprised at this insight because he can’t tell if the suspect wears contact lenses or not.

“Well, that’s an interesting answer. Wait here while I check the file.”

So he left the room and came back in a few minutes smiling from ear to ear.

“Wow, I can’t believe it! It’s true! The suspect does in fact wear contacts. Good work! How were you able to make such an astute observation?”

“That’s easy,” the third trainee answered, “He can’t wear regular glasses because he only has one eye and one ear.”

You don’t have to be a great detective to understand that it’s not the miles; it’s how you live them. And some smiles along the way can enrich the journey.

(Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study for all ages at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org.).

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