They say yawning is contagious, negativity is contagious, but fortunately laughing is contagious too. After all people by nature strive to be part of the group so, they do what others are doing.
Personally I didn’t believe that one person laughing loudly would be the inspiration behind over 20 people doing the same, but yesterday I saw it happen before my own eyes. You see, I was invited by my friend who is a laughter Yoga instructor to take part in a laughing flash mob and I accepted the invitation. I figured why not ! What are a few laughs in public on a sunny Saturday afternoon?
So, on the designated time I met the group in Rainbow Street square. For those of you who don’t know Amman, this is a somewhat crowded square in one of the more touristy, artsy districts of the city. The instructor divided us into three groups. She then instructed one group to start laughing, with the second group and third group following 30 seconds later. However, something interesting happened, one person in the first group had a very loud laugh and, although I was in the second group I couldn’t help but laugh the minute he started laughing. Another person in the third group had a distinctive laugh so every time he laughed I found myself laughing more. Although I was instructed to laugh 30 seconds into the routine, I found myself laughing instantly just by the laughter of others. I thought I was going to have to pretend, but for most of the time I was there, I really was not pretending.
A few minutes into our loud laughter we were drawing a crowd. One person even took out a video camera and started filming us. Other people were filing us with their phones, but the only thing they all had in common was that they too were laughing even though they were not part of the group. Some people sitting around the area were trying hard to suppress their laughs but they were giggling too to themselves. Others were just staring at us in shock, not sure what they wanted to do in that situation. The tourist police were shocked as they looked at us and were even asking passers by what we were doing, but then again they couldn’t take any legal actions against us because laughing is not a crime.
Now, I am not deluding myself. Some people were probably laughing at us because then again 15 people laughing for no reason we have to admit that is funny. More importantly, the purpose was met. We made people in that square laugh.
For me, the whole experience was interesting. It is always fun to go out and do something out of the box. It was fun to not care what others thought or to not care if people were looking at us and laughing at us. The laughter added a positive vibe to my day and I welcome positive vibes. I love how our city always has something interesting going on.
But what I learned was that laughing is contagious. It is just as contagious as negativity. So, here is a thought, maybe we are better off laughing than complaining. One person complaining can make a crowd complain and one person laughing can also make a crowd laugh. So, the choice is ours.
Which would you pick?
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Note : The people in the photo were the people laughing