When asked about the secret of his youthful looks, my wise friend calmly replied. "I laugh every day." I still remember that evening. The table had a lot of delicious food on it, and our stomachs were hurting because my friend was cracking one joke after another giving us little time to recover in between the jokes. Now I am wiser; I tend to agree with my friend. A sense of humor is important to survive the hardships of the day. Sadly, I also realize my ability to look at the lighter side is either diminishing or becoming inopportune. A recent bus ride shook me up and made me realize the importance of laughing, sense of humor and related paraphernalia.
On days I am lucky to get a ride back from my colleague, I end up in the south part of Reading. From there, I walk to the nearest bus stop and use one of the local buses to reach home. The bus stops in front of Royal Berkshire Hospital, one of the famous ones in this part of the world. One of the fellow passengers who boards from my bus stop is a gentleman on a wheelchair. He is the last one to board as the driver has come out of the cabin to lay down the plank that will help the gentleman steer his wheelchair into the bus. The wheelchair is not powered by a motor. It is one of the old ones where you use your hands to control.
When the bus stopped at the Royal Berkshire Hospital last week, a young man boarded the bus. He was also on a wheelchair. His wheelchair was powered by a motor so he could easily fit it into the designated place in the bus. When the wheelchair of the young man had come to a stop, he was also face to face with the gentleman on the wheelchair. The gentleman on the wheelchair was watching with interest while young man parked his wheelchair. The gentleman said, "I like it." He was quick enough to clarify, "Not your condition. But your toy". Both of them laughed. The young man's legs were amputated below the knee and the stumps, though covered, were visible for everyone.
I would classify the statement uttered by the gentleman as a jovial remark. It was not a joke. It could still bring laughter to them and smiles on the lips of everyone who were listening. It is truly important to laugh. It removes the drudgery of everyday life.