Why don’t we laugh anymore?

A good friend of mine once said, “Ya gotta laugh!”

That was his mantra, and he lived it until the day he passed on.

What is wrong with our world today?

Does anyone laugh anymore?

Yes, we are in some serious times, with terrorism fears and threats, crazy people driving into crowds and active shooters in unimaginable places. But it’s all the more reason we need to sometimes take a step back, look in the mirror and laugh.

Yup – laugh out loud! It’s OK to laugh at yourself, too! A good belly laugh is good for what ails us. It’s been medically proven that a good laugh has tremendous physical and mental benefits. Many of us tend to take ourselves too seriously nowadays.

There was a time when we could count on great sitcoms and comics, those that could make us laugh out loud, or even laugh at ourselves. I grew up watching the Three Stooges.

Agreed, not exactly Emmy winners (although they were in fact nominated for an Academy Award).

Anytime I had a bad day, or felt things just weren’t right, old Moe, Larry and Curly could set things straight and make me realize we all need to lighten up once in a while. I watched them to the point where I could recite their lines before they were spoken. And I never once hit any of my friends over the head with a hammer or poked them in the eyes (many a parent’s fear of those days).

It seems today, something that was once considered funny is now offensive. Can we say anything anymore without offending someone? So many of us are stressed out to the point where we forget how to laugh or have fun.

Milton Berle, Red Skelton, Johnny Carson, Robin Williams et al, each had their shtick, delivery or approach. Some creative, some downright silly, or both. But they shared one gift; the gift of laughter.

They made you forget the woes of your day and relax for a few minutes. That laughter seemed to be the equivalent of today’s meditation, massage or down time for the day. It was free therapy!

Nowadays, many comics, who were once the toast of college campuses, have stopped touring for fear of saying something that is no longer “PC.” It’s sad to think that those who once made us all laugh no longer want to share their gift, for fear of offending someone or spurring a trend of negativity on social media.

A good laugh is as addictive as a yawn. Try it someday.

When you laugh, others laugh. When one person laughs hysterically, others will follow suit.

If it doesn’t come naturally, fit laugh time into your daily routine. Find a favorite comic or an old time-sitcom. Watch your pet play with a toy. Make it a point to talk to a friend or coworker who makes you laugh. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel at the end of the day.

And best of all, it doesn’t cost you a cent. Ready? Set? Laugh!

Don Canney is a longtime Nashua resident and occassional guest columnist for The Telegraph.