How funny is God? How can we know? Why would or should we care?
In my study of people reconstructing their identity after having made a work transition, I found the spiritual factor to be a central force in determining whether someone could or could not make it through a transition. That’s because it is only this spirituality that unleashes us from the control, stagnant thinking, and hopelessness of the ego. Nothing else will do it.
The essence of positive humor (as defined by the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor) is therapeutic. It begs each of us to get rid of the ego.
At this year’s AATH conference, Dr. Waleed Salameh talked about his extensive research on humor and how the ego is what keeps us from experiencing joy. Prevents us from taking ourselves lightly. That’s because the ego demands that we take ourselves seriously in order to protect our image. To uphold our notion of perfectionism.
That’s fine if you want to roll around endlessly in a vacuum or like a hardball rolling around a roulette wheel but never stopping. It’s motion, but it’s going nowhere. It’s directionless and not much fun. And, you never really find out who you are—your identity.
Without the ability to know YOU, you lose the ability to direct your resources toward your purpose in life. You can’t seem to make it out of the morass that we call “change.”
That’s where humor enters in: when we have this positive humor, we are well-poised to discover our direction, our purpose, our identity. Humor helps us in these important ways:
1. Humor encourages us toward the TRUTH of a situation
2. Humor enables us to hold divergent views and not buckle
3. Humor establishes a basis for hope to grow and then lead us toward our goals
But none of this can happen when the ego stands in our way.
And that’s where God enters in. Spirituality. Or at least something that’s outside your ego, untouched by your control. Maybe your spirituality is an entity, a feeling, or a state of mind. Maybe for you it’s an essence, an inspiration. If it’s not there, your direction is at a standstill.
Who are you and what is your purpose? How funny is THAT?