Don’t look now, but they’re laughing at us

I have a question. How do babies know how to smile? How do they know to laugh? At infancy, you can get a baby to giggle its little head off. But how? It’s not like they’re listening to one of your jokes and crack up laughing, and then give you a hi-5, is it? How do they know to smile and giggle when we’re making those goo-goo faces at them? It’s not like we teach them. I really want to understand this. Someone tell me how a baby of only a week old, who can’t talk, who can’t walk, who doesn’t know right from wrong, or have any ability to reason, whose body isn’t grown, knows that we are doing something silly to get them to laugh? What makes them crack up?

The only answer that is even remotely feasable in my mind is that laughing is a innate gift from God. It has to be. There is no way that any doctor or scientist is going to debate this with me. I don’t care if they stand on their heads and point out scripture; laughing is a gift from our Father. If a baby can laugh when it can’t even use logic or reasoning, then it has to be a gift. So, now I want to know why we laugh? If we laugh it has to be for a reason. Yes, I understand that we laugh because something is funny. But why is it funny? What makes it funny? What happens in our brains that tells our insides to start the process of turning up our mouths in preparation for the fit of hysterics we are about to perform? What is the purpose of laughing like an out of control hyena?

Our bodies release chemicals when we laugh. Did you know that? Yep. It releases endorphins and mood elevaters that aid us on many levels. It’s similiar to having a built in repair shop. Why do you think they, whoever they are, all say that laughter is the best medicine? Because studies show that those who laugh are less likely to have high blood pressure; less likely to have ulcers; less likely to have heart problems; less likely to die so young. Those who laugh several times a day heal quickly after surgery, heal quickly after chemo, heal faster overall. Those who can find laughter during a breakup will be more likely to move on. Laughing is also our bodies way of fending off stress. It’s one of our many defense mechanisms. Many people laugh while they are scared. So laughing does serve a purpose. God didn’t do it just for shits and giggles–no pun intended. So that leads me to my next question. How do babies know to cry? How do they know that they are unhappy the minute they are born?

So there you have it. At infancy, a baby knows when you’re telling a joke and when the joke really sucks.


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