Lesson of the Week
Funny: I laugh and find humor in life
Tragedy is like an exhale. It takes the breath away. Human life cannot exist with only the exhale. Life needs the next step — the inhale. Humor and laughter are the inhale after tragedy. They are the swift slap on the back that revives the choked mission.
Find opportunities to laugh. Laughter is good medicine. Create a Google search with any word and the word “joke” (e.g., cat joke, dog joke, peanut joke, or carrot joke). Read some of the “hits” or jokes that result. For instance, in the Google search box, type the words Maine joke. One “hit” explains alternative computer terminology meanings for residents in Aroostook County, Maine. (Click on this link to read the whole list of Maine computer jokes.) For instance, what does the computer term “log on” mean to a Mainer? To make the wood stove hotter. “Log off” means, “don’t add no more wood”. “Download” means getting the firewood off the truck, and “floppy disk” is what you get from downloading too much firewood. “Byte” is what black flies do, and a “web” is what spiders build in the corner of the barn. If you have had a long, laborious day on your mission, try reenergizing by finding something to laugh about. In fact, humor and laughter are essential to a successful mission.
Unfortunately, there are times when tragedy occurs and without fun, the mission seems over. A bride was expecting a happy wedding celebration, however her beloved father expectedly died on her wedding day. A mother’s mission was to keep her daughter safe, however her daughter was killed in a roadside bomb attack. A woman wanted to have children, but a medical condition made this dream impossible. In each of these cases, individuals were on a mission that seemed to end.
Tragedy is like an exhale. It takes the breath away. Human life cannot exist with only the exhale. Life needs the next step — the inhale. Humor and laughter can be the inhale after tragedy. They are the swift slap on the back that revive the choked mission. Look what happened to the people previously mentioned. The bride went on to get married. Her father’s memory lives in her heart and she is instilling her father’s values in her own children. The soldier’s mother started a scholarship fund that keeps the memory of their daughter alive and helps support other young people. The third story ended in a mission the young woman never expected. Although she did not have biological children, she was able to adopt children and grow a large family. By a thoughtful change of mood from tragedy to good humor, all three missions have continued to flourish. The mission’s direction has changed, but is just as compelling and relevant.
If your mission is at a standstill, remember that a respite of fun, humor, and laughter can bring your mission back to life. Humor and laughter are the needed inhale, the slap on the back that your mission needs. Find one small smile that represents one faint hope. Let it blossom into pure joy. People might criticize you or throw you out of a meeting, but your longevity and strength will need these moments of levity and joy. Seize them at the right time and watch your mission grow in grace.
“To truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain, and play with it!
- Charlie Chaplin, English Comic Actor and Film Director
Materials: Paper and pen or pencil
Time: Ten minutes to write and ten minutes for each person to discuss
1. Think back over your life and remember the funniest times you ever had.
2. Write down several of these experiences.
3. What made each one of these experiences funny?
4. Now think about the present time. How could you bring more laughter into your life – even through times of adversity? (What are the barriers to having fun and laughter? What are the advantages of overcoming these barriers?)
5. Share one or all of your stories with the group and discuss how you could bring more laughter into your present life.
“I laugh and find humor in life so I can ……” We’d like to hear your story about laughter and finding humor in life. Write your story below.