“Humor plays close to the white hot fire of truth.” E. B. White
“Our laughter contains the hope of redemption.” F.H. Buckley, The Morality of Laughter
Laughter. We began each class hour the same way.
When I was teaching in high school I would show the latest “Darwin Awards,” weekly “Calvin and Hobbes” cartoon strips, or “Weird News” items on an overhead at the beginning of classes. [Yes, I know overheads and acetate are tools of the past!]
Posters around the walls of my room included “Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk!” from none other than Curly of Three Stooges fame.
Laughter finds a way for us to connect emotionally.
Laughter allows adversaries to consider friendship.
Laughter breaks down tensions, barriers to learning.
Laughter invites us to join in a shared experience.
Laughter binds propositional teaching to life.
But I also believe that laughter opens us to biblical truth.
Comics like The Wizard of Id, Calvin and Hobbes, and Frank and Ernest did a good job of explaining human nature. Of all the comics I have saved over the years those that communicate best are honest about our human nature.
Wiley Miller produced a Non Sequitur comic titled “The Essence of Human Nature.” A man and a woman are standing by a sign that says, “Absolutely NO Machete Juggling.” The man comments, “Suddenly I have an urge to juggle machetes.” [I have a signed copy of this comic from Mr. Miller]
“Where are you going?” she asks.
“I’m meeting with Attila the Hun to discuss the possibility of a peace treaty.”
Frowning, her second question is, “Why do you need all those weapons?”
Hagar matter-of-factly explains, “It might not be possible.”
In discussions with his boy, Hagar insists, “Never turn your back on an enemy, my son!” Reasoning with his father the child responds, “You should be more trusting Dad! He’s not an enemy—he’s a ‘human being,’ just like you.” Making his point Hagar rejoins, “THAT’S why you should never turn your back on him!”
Yes, laughter lightens our mood but it also brings light to our way.
I still have the 3-inch binder full of overheads I used to jolt classes into jocularity.
Overheads are a thing of the past but laughter is ever present anytime I teach.
Picture credits: Wikipedia