Thursday, September 20, 2012

Laughter as Community

I talked to a really good friend of mine a few days ago, and the topic of depression (both on my end and his) came up. Much of it revolved around mutual insecurities and fear of the unknown.

"Will I ever do what I *really* want to do?"

"Why doesn't anything I do seem to really work?"

"What's taking God so long?"

I've noticed in my life, it's become a cavalcade of fear and uncertainty. The main component of such fear is simply being in a place you do not desire to be in. For some, it is a bad relationship. Others, it is loneliness.

However, in talking to my good friend, the topic of laughter came up. And I realized that the act of laughing has powerful connotations. At least, that became apparent to me in a way I hadn't originally considered.

Laughter is community.

Think about it.

I rarely laugh by myself. If I do, it's because I'm listening to comedy on Pandora. But that requires the communal act of another speaking or joking around. It requires two.

I do not go to see comedies by myself. The only film that has ever had me laughing out loud by myself was "Thank You for Smoking." Every comedy since then has been a bust. Maybe that is why comedies perform so well opening week, because everyone brings someone and they go to laugh together.

When my friend laughs, he's thinking about the best part of the current situation. He's told me that he has always desired to laugh, and to be funny. Now, he doesn't feel funny. The spark is gone.

He doesn't laugh anymore.

And I think it is because he doesn't have community around him. He is lonely. He is in a place where laughter is scarce. And this is not just him, but I imagine it applies to all human beings. We desire catharsis. We desire fellowship.

Maybe the answer is community, and creating environment. Being involved in each others lives. Creating relationships that matter, and that laughter abounds within. Call it biology and the release of hormones and mechanisms of deconstructing doubt in your head. Call it fantasy. Call it a lesser Moloch. Whatever.

But it seems to work, and it seems to be more than necessary. It seems to reflect our created nature to desire such things. And it clearly reflects the desire of such a Creator.

The fear of the unknown becomes less intimidating if we're laughing in the face of it. And we're with those that matter the most.

So, I guess I'm writing this for him. Hopefully it will be encouraging. I know talking to him has helped me more than he can ever know. And that matters, he shouldn't be afraid or feel alone.



  1. Nailed it, man. I love your thoughts on this.

    I also never laugh alone. It's weird. There are so many places in nature and humanity where God is shouting his desire for us to live in community just like He does in the Trinity.

    1. Thanks man. I rarely laugh by myself, and often it takes the thoughts and reminders of another to stir such things. ;)


  2. Hi thanks for this.. Really help a lot (esp for Christian readers)

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    1. Thanks! ;-)

      Feel free to pass this around.