On Humor as a Coping Mechanism

     “Humor helps one keep perspective. Humor can help people to cope with and properly understand their human existence. Human existence provides humorous reminders that they are not God. It also permits people to accept and celebrate their paradoxical existence. Any alleged Christianity which fails to express itself in joy, at some point, is clearly spurious. The Christian is joyful, not because he is blind to injustice and suffering, but because he is convinced that these, in the light of divine sovereignty, are never ultimate. He is convinced that the unshakable purpose is the divine rule in all things, whether of heaven or earth. The humor of the Christian is not a way of denying tears, but rather a way of affirming something which is deeper than tears. “The man who reacts with humor to the event that crushes him reveals the measureless measure of man. The man who smiles in face of his death already lives his immortality. Humor is a quiver of transcendence within the weight of mankind.”
     Humor is the ability to laugh at oneself and thereby accept oneself with all of one’s vulnerabilities and faults. Humor is one of the finest solvents for irritations in life, because it helps to get rid of conflicts that really do not matter; it disposes of irrelevancies by laughing at them. It enables one to get a fresh perspective on tough problems, a perspective which helps shift the situation into manageable proportions. Laughter has the power to lift the spirit, for it can transform even tears into lenses through which to see life more clearly and can brighten black horizons with the light of hope.”
     – Cheryl Taylor, A Theology of Humor

     “Comedy is acting out optimism.”
     – Robin Williams

     “The next best thing to solving a problem is finding some humor in it.”
     – Frank A. Clark

     “Humor is not a mood but a way of looking at the world. So if it is correct to say that humor was stamped out in Nazi Germany, that does not mean that people were not in good spirits, or anything of that sort, but something much deeper and more important.”
     – Ludwig Wittgenstein
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