03 Aug Make ‘Em Laugh
Life without festival is like a long road without an inn.
The Ancient Greeks thought of anyone from the city of Abdera: he’s a buffoon.
That bias lives on even today in the phrase Abderian laughter, which denotes the laughter of a fool—of a schmegeggy who’ll laugh at anything.
The citizens of Abdera owed their reputation to a native son, Democritus, known throughout the Greek Empire as the “Laughing Philosopher.”
Contemporaries said this “champion of cheerfulness” made a habit of staying merry by laughing at human foibles.
Laughter might seem foreign to us right now, as we steer through “these uncharted times” (a pet phrase of the peppy voiceover at my Safeway).
But laughter has always helped folks in distress, as just one example reminds us: an inmate of the “Hanoi Hilton”—itself a wry nickname for the horrific prison camp—wrote on the wall in the POWs’ shower stall, “Smile, You’re on Candid Camera.”
Success, wealth, independence and leisure sound good, until you count their cost in fear—fear of their loss.
You can’t be fearful when you’re cheerful.