Laugh with or laugh at?

They say laughter is the best medicine. And when I’m with people who make me laugh well, I feel good.

Smiling, when it’s not forced, and easy laughter does so much for our bodies and souls. It makes us feel glad to be alive.

Here in the UK, we have a tradition of April Fools’ Day, on the 1st of April. Today. It’s a day for practical jokes, with the aim of trying to catch people out.

Probably the most famous was a spoof in the 1970s in a serious BBC documentary, Panorama, when they meticulously described how spaghetti grew on trees. It probably helped that most people saw it in black and white.

So 1st April is a day with a cautious dose of scepticism – whether that’s engaging with the news or responding to requests. (Not great timing for us in the UK in 2019…) We don’t want to be the one taken in, to be the April Fool. And be laughed at – even if it’s just our own incredulity that we could be duped.

Perhaps this kind of deep-rooted national humour says a lot about where we are and what we’ve become. There is a huge difference between laughing with and laughing at.

Pause. Breathe. Smile… generously