My friend and I were to attend an event near her house, so I went to stay with her for that purpose and a mini-break. Another houseguest she met a month ago was there. I’d heard a bit about the guest, but wasn’t prepared for how over-the-top she is. I discovered the guest doesn’t have “soft” as a setting on her volume control, personality, or about saying exactly what’s on her mind. She’s...unique. I know we’re all unique, but using it to describe her requires capitalizing all the letters and throwing in extra punctuation.

The night of the event, my friend’s life partner took the guest and a friend of his to dinner while we went in the other direction. We were more than a little concerned about how that dinner would go. We left our event at 11p.m. and were surprised to return to an empty house. We thought that either an emergency had happened and no one had called us or, a bit beyond belief, the other three were having a Good Time. They returned at midnight and for the next couple of hours as they shared stories about their evening, they had my friend and me laughing until our faces hurt. I’ve known my friend’s partner for nearly a decade and never knew he had a funny bone. He’s an attorney; and everyone knows jokes are usually made about attorneys, not by them. The guest had activated his clown chakra.

I told my friend that nothing about the guest had changed, but our perceptions of her certainly did. That she could amuse my friend’s partner and cause him to extend an open invitation to her to be their houseguest any time is a Big Deal. My friend asked her partner what he liked so much about the guest and he replied, “She says what she thinks, no matter what, and you always know where you stand with her.” He wasn’t phased by any of her, what some would consider off-putting, peculiarities. When the guest left Sunday, we were sad to see her go.

My friend expressed her concern about how easy it is to make judgments about others, something she wanted to eliminate. We discussed how if we know the tendency exists, that helps us remain open to shift our assumptions and opinions more readily as a result of something we witness. Knowing about this tendency, allows us to remind ourselves to observe more about another before forming an opinion.

It’s said that laughter heals the body, mind, and spirit. It seems it can also heal opinions, judgments, and open us to be a bit more willing to engage with those we might ordinarily avoid. To quote from Swami Beyondananda: “Be a FUNdamentalist. Ensure that the FUN always comes before the MENTAL. Realize that life is a situation comedy that will never be cancelled. A laugh track has been provided and the reason we are put in the material world is to get more material from that track. Have a good laughsitive twice a day, which will ensure regularity.”

I agree with Swami. When it comes to the human race, if we place our bets at the laugh track, everyone wins.

Author's Bio: 

Joyce Shafer is a life empowerment coach and author of, “I Don’t Want to be Your Guru, but I Have Something to Say” ( and ), “How to Have What You REALLY Want” ( ), and is published in various online and hardcopy venues. You can email her at