You can’t turn on the TV these days without hearing how they’re dividing us. Red state versus blue state. East versus West. iPhones versus exploding Samsung ones.
Well, let’s stop focusing on what’s keeping us apart and instead see what we have in common.
The Croatian word for laughter is “smijeh.” In French it is “rire,” and in Welsh it is “chwerthin.” But, amazingly, actual laughter is the same all around the world.
It is true we’re born crying, because who wouldn’t scream when ripped from the comfort of a vagina and thrust into the cold sterility of an HMO delivery unit, surrounded by masked giants and blood?
Shortly thereafter, however, we move onto laughter. Glee is our natural state. It is our emotional home.
Before they teach you what language to speak, before they teach you which religion to follow, before they teach you to like or hate someone based on their skin color, before they send you off to war. Before any of that, we all laugh and we all laugh the same.
Even in Somalia, a country ranked the poorest in the world, they have a word for laughter: “qosol.” Their flag is plain blue with one star on it, the lowest Yelp rating available, and they still have a word for the sound you make when consumed with giddy happiness.
So if reading the news has got you down, if you hate your job, if you’re a real estate novelist who never had time for a wife, if you’re talkin’ with Davy who’s still in the navy and probably will be for life, you know that it’s me you should be coming to see to forget about life for a while.
Come back home to happier times. Come back home to laughter. I’m dispensing smijeh and chwerthin at a place near you.