July 1st is International Joke Day, not to be confused with April Fools Day, a day of pranks. On International Joke Day, consider that there are many people who, as a part of their everyday lives, hide pain, upset, grief, insecurities, and all kinds of negative emotions. While you can’t fix many of these things, sometimes you can help that person to take a moment from whatever troubles them, and laugh, smile, or hide a tiny grin behind their hand while they try to seem disinterested or bored.
This is a subject I am passionate about, since I was always the sort of person who hid her emotions. As I got into high school and was continually bullied, though, I was forced into the realization that nothing I did would stop me from being bullied. After that, it became my personal mission to give people little reasons to be happy, if only for a moment.
As a result, I became the friend who could always cheer others up. I did ridiculous things that amused complete strangers for just that moment. I showed up to college dressed as a clown, and embarrassed myself with a little speech to a professor about how I wanted people to see something silly, so that whenever they felt less than happy, that silly image would pop back into their head and amuse them.
After being told to smile so many times as a child, I wanted to give people a reason for a genuine smile, not a fake-happy one.
Today of all days, don’t just tell a joke. Do or say something silly, something utterly abnormal, and give people a reason to be happy, if only for that ten second moment that they stop thinking about their own troubles.