Just about everyone has lasting memories of their favorite cartoon. For some reason, we attach significance to a cartoon character and cling to the things connected to that character. There is something sweetly sentimental about recalling famous lines and antics that take place during cartoon episodes. When it seems the world is falling in around us, those crazy characters put a certain pizazz back in our day and we smile…or quite possibly, we laugh out loud!
The things we love most about cartoon characters are their endearing character traits and outward appearance. Consider Tweety Bird: the sweet, precious yellow bird fluttered around and called out, “I ‘tawt I taw a puddy tat!” And there’s Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner—one was full of perservance and the other was brimming over with clever wit. Who could forget Chilly Willy’s distinctive voice and deadpan personality? Even Puss in Boots finds his way into many hearts with his cunning charm, impressive sword skills, and enchanting stare. If your emotions have yet to be stirred, visit the deepest caverns of your mind and you might just hear the hysterical laughter of none other than Woody the Woodpecker! That laugh was, if nothing else, contagious.
As a youngster, I was a giggler rather than a laugher. I didn’t have it in me to really burst out in a good ‘ole belly laugh. I did get into my share of trouble in grade school for falling into fits of giggling. There was no rhyme or reason for the giggling and the source could have been any number of things. I also found myself being reprimanded for lying in bed with my best friend giggling. Now, these episodes were different because I had a friend giggling with me—that made everthing all the more humorous. My dad would come to the door and say, “Girls, pipe it down and go to sleep.” Needless to say, this only caused more giggling. This type of giggling eventually led to tears of happiness, and that felt awfully good.
I heard recently that a person should laugh out loud no less than twelve times each day in order to gain positive health benefits. Wow…twelve times? Really? At one time, this would have seemed like an impossibility for me. I just simply didn’t laugh out loud. However, I’m beginning to see that laughing does in fact have some benefits for my general outlook on life. A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with a friend. One of his greatest talents is voice impersonations. In fact, he has created about eight inner personalities to entertain with. As I was chowing down on my burger listening to him carry on a three way conversation, something he said struck me like nothing else he had ever said. He laughed and then I literally laughed out loud in a restaurant…a restaurant with other people sitting in close proximity.
I shocked myself and my friend. It was extremely out of character for me. I will admit that I was a little embarassed, but that feeling quickly passed as I recognized a new found feeling in my heart—I had reached a new plane. Looking back, I do not even know what I laughed at, but I did come to a few conclusions. It made me feel extremely good on the inside, it changed the whole climate of the evening, and it connected me in a unique way with the person I was laughing with. Proverbs 17:22 says,
“A cheerful heart makes good medicine.”
Laughter truly does do a body good. For the moments directly following the laughter, one is overcome with joy and excitement…peace and contentment. You find yourself anxious for the next great thing to happen just so you can laugh out loud again. Just try it and you will see that I am telling the truth.
Those classic Woody the Woodpecker cartoons kept us in stitches for sure and we are forever connected to the zany bird and his incessant laughter. Woody the Woodpecker said, “Hey, that’s my laugh! You can’t take it!” He didn’t want to be duplicated—only imitated! God has a completely different idea about laughter. He created laughter and He fully intends for us to laugh loud and often. God loves the sound of our laughter and He expects us to give it away to others. I believe that our laughter is a direct reflection of God’s happiness and delight. So, what are you waiting for? Laugh out loud….because you can.