Laughter & Tears: Our Greatest Gifts?

I just wrote something on the “Rituals of Death” thread to Byz, who was feeling pretty sad over her brother, and it made me think of this.

In the “On Your Deathbed” thread, I also talked about an emotional life being the one I’d be happiest to have lived.

Of all the ways in which humans are set apart from the animals, I believe our ability to feel certain things, and to manifest those feelings in physical expression, are the most magical and precious gifts we have. Specifically:

Sorrow —> Tears
Joy ------> Laughter

No other animal has these abilities, that we are sure about. I think certainly animals can feel joy and sorrow, but they don’t have the physical expression that we have.

I’d have to say that my two favorite things in life are laughing and crying, because they both happen when I am feeling the most, and feeling is what it is all about for me.

And of course, they slop into each other all the time, don’t they? How many of us have laughed so hard we cried? Or cried so long that we finally laughed?

Unfortunately for me, I cry very easily and it is very difficult to make me laugh out loud. When I do, though, when I really go to town, it’s pretty funny in itself. If something hits me just right I can laugh so hard I nearly stop breathing. My face gets all purple, I’m gasping for air, tears are streaming down my cheeks, and I end up with a stomachache.

Man, there’s nothing like it!

So what do you guys think? What are the most precious and magical gifts we have as humans?

He who laughs last thinks slowest.

Our ability to raise a child to be a better person than we could ever be.

I think the most precious thing we can do as human beings is to see what is most worthy in our fellowmen. It’s easy to see what’s wrong with someone – it’s hard to see what’s right, what you share, what is deepest. The Apostle Paul said “Now exist faith, hope, and charity, but the greatest of these is charity.” IMHO, that’s what he was talking about.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

Assuming you have that ability.

Most of the people I know who are better than their parents got that way in spite, not because of them.

Make that everyone I know who is better than their parents.

True Stoidela, but like most precious and magical gifts, it’s up to the receiver of the gift to use it to its fullest potential.

My thought is that those parents just didn’t want that enough for their children, maybe that’s naive but I won’t bring a child into this world unless there’s a shot that I can make that child a better person than I could ever be. Just think what could happen if everybody just TRIED to do that.

Some animals can, and do, cry. When Elephants Weep is an excellent book on the subject.

Oh boy, those are two of my biggies. I love to laugh and do it a lot but when I cry I really let go. My entire face gets puffy and hurts.

As some of you know I totally broke down the other night over my brother. I couldn’t for the life of me understand why it came on so hard and so sudden. The next day my father called and said he had a rough night too. We talked about it and realized that this is the time of year when we used to go on a week long river trip together.

I think another great gift we have is our ability to empathize with each other, even people we don’t really know. A lot of people could have totally slammed me that night but no one did. In fact, everyone was supportive and shared some of their pain too. That made me feel a lot better. Knowing you are not alone helps.

I think the best laugher and tears are those that are shared.

Laughter, tears, and the hunger for knowledge. Top three.

To be able to laugh at ourselves is #1 in my book. To cry over a memory, a picture, a song, the pain of a stranger: way up there.
Insatiable curiosity is a very human and wonderful thing, too.

These all come together to make what I think is the best of being human: We know that we and those we love are going to die. We grieve this, but we also laugh at the absurdity of it all. Then we get up each day and try to make the best of it, hopefully leaving the world a little better for those who follow us.

{{{What are the most precious and magical gifts we have as humans?}}}—Stoidela

The ability to leap beyond the realm of personal experience–to imagine.

To empathize with others, showing compassion and mercy.

The need to love and be loved.

“The greatest of these is love.”

(The Original EnigmaOne)
Common ¢ for all ages.