Marcus McArthur, the father of famed "Baby Micah," comments on the bond with his baby son, his connection to God and why people are so attracted to his YouTube videos.
The videos of Baby Micah display the young child laughing hysterically at some pretty simple occurrences. Viewers can watch the baby as he finds joy through his laughter as his father interacts with him in a variety of ways.
The most popular clip thus far shows Baby Micah laughing enthusiastically while the father rips up a job rejection letter. The video has reportedly garnered over 33 million hits since it surfaced online in February.
Skip MacCarty, Dr. of Ministry and grandfather of Baby Micah, knows the videos are a perfect stress reliever for viewers. "Laughter is an excellent stress reducer," he stated.
"Baby Micah has brought our whole family hours of joy with his contagious laughter," MacCarty further stated. "What you see on the YouTube clip is just what this little guy is really like. He's a contagious laughing machine who enjoys life to the fullest, with a few whimpers sprinkled in to remind us that he's human."
Researchers refer to laughter as "internal jogging", since it is known to give the internal organs a good workout. It is also good for lowering stress hormones and fights debilitating diseases.
Marcus McArthur spoke with The Christian Post about the relationship he shares with his son, the influence of God in his life and the affects the videos have on the people who watch them.
CP: How would you describe the relationship between you and your son?
Marcus McArthur: Micah and I have a pretty special bond, though he is our first child so I don't really have anything to which to compare it. I think the fact that I was an at-home dad for the first year and a half of his life allowed us to have that special bond. He tends to laugh at pretty much anyone, but for some reason he seems to find me particularly funny.
CP: How has God influenced you, your wife and Baby Micah's upbringing?
Marcus McArthur: The main focus in our parenting is to raise Micah to love God and others and to live a life that reflects the love that God has displayed in the Gospel. If his video can play any part to that end, then we are extremely thankful. In fact, just today I received an email from someone saying how she really admired our father-son relationship and said she looked up the meaning of Micah's name and saw that it means "Who is like God?" and she said it made her think more about the importance of our relationship with our heavenly Father.
CP: Why do you think people who view your videos use it as a stress reliever?
Marcus McArthur: This is just my best guess, but I think people are longing to see something positive and uplifting in popular culture, especially during these stressful financial times. Many people have contacted me to tell me that Micah's video has really helped brighten their day or lift their spirits because they were down due to being unemployed, receiving bad news about their health or the health of a loved one, or even losing a child. I think people welcome a brief relief from the stress of their lives. And I think people are particularly drawn to videos of laughing babies because these videos capture moments of such pure joy.
CP: Do you believe laughter is the best stress reliever?
Marcus McArthur: When a baby laughs there are no pretensions or anything contrived about it. It is so simple and helps us to remember that a lot of the things in our lives that cause stress are not very important in the grand scheme of things. I think that gives people some sense of comfort. And as my father could explain much more eloquently than me, researchers have found that smiling and laughing are actually good for you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
The embedded video below show Baby Micah's hilarious reaction to his father ripping paper and playing with the laundry basket: