Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Laughter: the music of the soul

Thought: Humour is to life what shock absorbers are to automobiles.

Biblical text: "A cheerful heart is good medicine; but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." (Proverbs 17:22)

Stand-up comedian and author David Brenner was signing books in a San Francisco bookstore when a young man handed him a newly purchased copy to be signed and said softly, "I want to thank you for saving my life." Brenner replied flippantly, "That's okay." The young man stood his ground and said, "No, I really mean it."

Brenner stoped signing and looked at him. The man said, "My father died. He was my best friend. I loved him and couldn't stop crying for weeks. I decided to take my own life. The night I was going to do it, I happened to have the TV on. You were hosting 'The Tonight Show', doing your monologue. Next thing I knew I was watching you and laughing hysterically. I realised then that if I was able to laugh, I was able to live. So I want to thank you for saving my life." Humbled and grateful, Brenner shook his hand and said, "No, I thank you."

Laughter does more than help us escape our problems. It sometimes gives us the courage to face them. As humorous author Barbara Johnson has said, "Laughter is like changing a baby's nappies. It doesn't permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for awhile."


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