By Simon Lawrence
I had an invitation a few years ago to give a brief talk about my work, something I felt unworthy to share… and the call had jangled my nerves.
My old professor from college went to the lectern before me and began his talk by demanding… ‘LAUGH! Everybody in the audience LAUGH! Out loud… that’s it,’ he said hoisting his hands towards the ceiling like a conductor. ‘Louder, louder!’
One after the other we began to laugh and pretty soon the whole lecture theatre sounded more like a drunken party, everyone was laughing and it was very real.
When I had taken my seat on the stage, I hadn’t felt much like laughing, I was nervous and I had just come through a particularly testing part of my life… I had almost forgotten how to smile, and the grumpy expression went everywhere with me.
But that evening I laughed with the rest of them, I just couldn’t help it, none of us could, it was infectious, and as I stood up to deliver my piece, I felt altogether more me and the audience far more inquisitive of my words. I went away feeling much happier than I had in a long time.
Laughter is a real medicine, just as the saying goes, and I'm sure it does have optimistic vitamins in it, certainly it revived my sagging morale, I felt almost cleansed by that one moment of laughing and now I try to take at least one dose daily.