Keep Smiling

Sorry to say, sad even and melancholic, but the homo mauricianus, the Mauritian person, and by extension the Mauritian nation as a whole, is sinking deeper and deeper in an acute state of chronic constipation. It has lost the faculty of laughing. By constantly taking everything seriously, we have grossly been contaminated by the gloom of so many people around us, and the lack of humour, of good humour, is becoming intolerable. Our society is sick, and it seems that we no longer give any credence to the dictum that laughter is the best medicine.


And yet, human beings are probably the only creatures on earth who have been endowed by the Almighty with a sense of humour. Of course, some animals may well be possessing a sense of humour, too, but we humans are not clever enough to detect it.

Also, there is no dearth of things happening, or not happening, that is ever present with a stock of laughter which is there for the taking - only if we know how and have the heart to accept it. We have lost the faculty of looking at the funnier side of life.

No sight is more pathetic than that of a nation incapable of laughing at itself. And God knows, our society abounds in a vast number of things that can provoke laughter. With apologies to you, my dear Billy, I dare say that “the man who cannot laugh at himself is only fit for treasons, stratagems and spoils.”

For health and constant enjoyment of life, one needs to possess a keen and ever present sense of humour- it is the next best thing to an abiding faith in providence. Former U.S President Abraham Lincoln once declared that “with the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh, I should die.”

The world is a perpetual caricature of itself, at every moment it is the mockery and the contradiction of what it is pretending to be. It nevertheless intends all the time to be something different and highly dignified, and so it ever tries cover up the absurd thing it was, with the result that a world of masks is superimposed on the reality. Humour is the perception of this illusion.

Humour is one of the best items of dress one can wear in society, my dear Billy. I am persuaded that every time a person smiles, and much more so when he laughs, it adds warmth to his heart and radiance to his personality. Laughter must be a guiding principle.

Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone. I’ve heard this saying ever since I was a little boy, and today, at the autumn of my life, it still rings loud and clear and true. A smile is highly contagious, and it acts as a balm.

A smile is a multidimensional treasure. It helps make your life and the lives of people around you, people you know or don’t, more enjoyable and richer. Laughter is a tonic for the soul - laughter soft, or loud and deep, tinged with seriousness.

Comedy and tragedy step through life together, arm in arm. Once we can laugh, we can live. It is a hilarious declaration made by man that life is worth living. Man is always trying to push towards better things, and to bring this about, a change must be made in the way of life. So laughter is brought in to mock at things, as they are, so that they may topple down and make room for better things to come.

There are many things that make different people laugh. You should just accept laughter as a phenomenon that releases tension and makes you feel lighter and happier. There is a fund of humour in each one of us. The more it is sought to be suppressed, the more it manifests itself. You forbid a person to laugh and he will laugh all the louder - behind your back. On the other hand, getting a laugh out of other people is easier than being able to laugh at oneself. Only people with self confidence and humility can afford to laugh at their own foibles.

There is so much to laugh at in this world despite the chaos in which it is engulfed. People are funny in the things they do, or don’t these things, in the dresses they wear, in their thoughts and aspirations.

But alas, the world is fraught with strain and tension, and the process of growth makes man forget his propensity to laugh. The reward of being funny is being alive. The main thing is: enjoy, and share your enjoyment, and always laugh. Keep smiling and be happy.

If you find somebody without a smile, give him one of yours. You will be repaid ten-fold.


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