Humor can help us discover awe by enlarging our perspective. Many of us are dealing with serious issues like health and financial concerns during this pandemic. Yet we can still have fun, and we should have fun when we can. Humor can strengthen us by connecting us with wonder. We could all use some laughter right now.
No matter how old we are, we can become like little children when we enjoy humor. An attitude of childlike wonder is necessary to experience heaven’s awe, Jesus Christ reveals in Matthew 18:3: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Children are souls fresh from heaven. They haven’t been desensitized to awe as many adults have. As I write in my book Wake Up to Wonder, we need to open our hearts and minds as children do. Humor can help us do so.
I once saw adults experience childlike wonder at the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The sound of laughter surrounded me as I waded into the lake. All around, people were floating in the famously buoyant water. They twisted and turned into a variety of positions to see if they could stay afloat – sitting up, lying sideways, poking their legs and arms out in all directions – and the water’s salinity and density prevented them from sinking. I stretched out on the lake’s surface as if it was a bed. Spinning around wildly, I tried my best to sink, but I floated no matter what. An elderly couple nearby splashed around in the water like they were children, laughing with delight. A group of teens took turns taking photos of each other reading a newspaper while floating on the top of the lake in a sitting position. A family arranged themselves into a circle on the lake’s surface, and when the mother called out “Now!” they all raised their hands together and waved at each other, giggling. The wonder of it all overwhelmed me as I floated in the crowd of bathing suit-clad people enjoying themselves. For most of the hour or so I spent playing in the lake, I laughed along with the chorus of fellow floaters filling the air with the joyful sound of humor.
We can enjoy the wonders of playfulness and laughter at home. Here are some ways to do so:
* Play with children and let yourself enjoy pure fun. If you have children, make time to play with them as often as possible. If you don’t have children, allow yourself to enjoy what you enjoyed doing as a child. Let go of your inhibitions and enjoy some pure fun, either with your family or by yourself. Talk in a silly accent. Roll down a hill. Build a fort out of boxes. Dance around your home. Play the role of your favorite superhero. Draw a comic strip. Enjoy anything else that makes you laugh.
* Play with pets. If you have pets, watch their silly antics and join them when you can. Be generous with toys and treats. Play games with your pets that you all can enjoy.
* Tell jokes at dinner with your family. Give everyone in your home an assignment to find some good jokes online. Then tell those jokes to each other while eating dinner together.
* Chat with friends to share funny stories. Enjoy humorous conversations with friends through storytelling. Call them, or video chat, to laugh together about silly experiences you each have had lately.
* Watch or read humorous content online. Go ahead and watch a few funny cat videos on YouTube, a standup comedy show, or a satire of current news.