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Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Blessings of a Good Sense of Humor

A good sense of humor is much like a source of light.  It reveals to the mind amusing aspects of even dire situations.  A person with a good sense of humor displays an attitude exerting mastery over life’s difficulties.  It signals acceptance of all challenges and challengers.  A parent who can recall and laugh at the trying times their children present is a witness to their love for their children, for their willingness to accept and receive them despite imperfections, to laugh even at the predicaments and frustrations that can arise.  The healthy nature of this approach is obvious when contrasted with a parental response of sustained resentment and anger.  The power of humor is illustrated by a politician who uses the cruel characterizations of themselves painted by the opposition to devise in turn a humorous response.  By simply repeating or exaggerating that characterization to humorous effect, the wise politician shows that he can laugh at himself while telegraphing that he is not defensive—indeed has no need to be. Contrast this with a poisoned political dynamic characterized by strident countercharges.  A sense of humor shows an optimistic spirit.  The ordinary, the humdrum is transformed by laughter when conceptual creativity is alive and well.  Nothing says quite so clearly that this morning we’re wide awake and ready for anything that comes down the pike than a willingness to see the humor in the unexpected intrusions of the everyday.

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