There was a time when I sincerely believed that my purpose in life was to make people laugh. No joke. I thought that was the whole reason I had been sent to earth: make people happy. (I think this was when I was around nine. But then, most things I'm not sure about when they happened I think they happened when I was nine. I was a very busy nine year old.)
Probably I got this idea from a well-meaning teacher who said that Heavenly Father gives us talents to use and develop in life and that's our job. The Parable of the Talents. But I'm not sure, so I won't point fingers. It's possible I thought it up myself.
But the point is, there was a two or three time period when I was specifically working to make people laugh. Not just cracking jokes, but training in the Martial Art of Happiness.
I'm glad I did. I have a friend who is very depressed. So depressed that one of my nightmares is getting a call saying that she killed herself. I'm not talking white make-up and Shakespeare and angsty wallowing in the fun of being depressed. My friend isn't wallowing. She's drowning.
And so when I'm with her, I try to make her laugh. I practically turn cartwheels (I don't, because I have a bad back and I don't know how anyway). And I'm glad I've been in training for this, because it's hard.
I wish there was a happy, up-lifting sort of note to end this on, but I can't think of one.