Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Sunday's (3/29) Spiritual Message: What's So fUnNY?

Yes, being a proud couple made up of a recent alum and year old alumna, my wife and I couldn't help but accept an invitation to hear Brad Wilcox (his Web page) talk about humor and why it's so important. In our day-to-day life.

If you've ever heard him speak before, you know what an impeccable speaker and talented orator he is.

If you've ever met me, you know what a sad excuse for a class clown and town idiot I am. So this lecture was right up my alley.

This post carries a spiritual heading because the purpose of the discourse (or whatever you want to call it) was to highlight how humor is beneficial for dealing with life and uplifting ourselves spiritually.

I can't remember who said it, but Brad quoted him as more or less saying, "There are some things which tears and sweat cannot resolve which can only be dissolved with humor." How true this is.

Among many stories, he shared one about a plane flight he was on where the plane suddenly dropped in a violent downfall and thud, thud, thudded on the runway. Everyone, wide-eyed and speechless, looked around the plane in disbelief. Out of nowhere, the stern voice of the captain broke the silence: "Take THAT, you bad, bad runway!" The mass of passengers erupted into laughter and each person thanked him graciously upon exiting the plane. What a turnaround.

(As a side note, this happened in our own home the other day when one of us dropped a ceramic cup and it broke. Instead of getting angry or frustrated, I exclaimed, "Take THAT, you bad, bad kitchen floor!" Good times.)

Similarly a young man was exiting a store, let's say Wal-Mart, with his father, feeling exuberant. Sadly, the youth underestimated his weight and overestimated his need for fun, put both feet on the end of the cart . . . and tipped it all over himself, eggs, flour, and other items splattering all over the pavement. Instead of berating his less than cautious teenager, the man just laughed.

When asked how he could possibly laugh at such a difficult moment, he responded, "Well, the eggs certainly aren't coming back!" Yea, verily.

Here's a great example of humor from the Book of Mormon (this is my personal insertion):
At length their provisions did arrive, and they were about to enter the city by night. And we, instead of being Lamanites, were Nephites; therefore, we did take them and their provisions.
This is a classic example of humorous understatement in the scriptures. To get the full context of the story, click here.

The long and short of everything is that finding humor (mind you, this is not to say having a sense of humor, but just looking for it) in all of our numerous trials, difficulties, and varied situations will give us the energy (as they say in Spanish, pilas [batteries]) and happiness to confront the storms of life and not be overcome.

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