Humor and the Family
Humor heals broken families. A friend of mine once said, “Family jokes, though rightly cursed by strangers, are the bond that keeps most families alive.” Our family has favorite funny stories about our trips that crack us up every time but can’t be translated to others because “you had to be there” to get the full meaning of the story.
One of Cathy’s and my goals had been to bring more comic relief to our family. With three active teenage girls in our family, life sometimes got too intense. All five of us are strong willed, and sometimes we just took life too seriously. On the refrigerator I wrote myself a note that simply said “Lighten up!” Some of the steps that we had taken to add more comic relief included renting classic comedy movies. Once or twice a year as a family we would rent certain family favorites. And when I travelled, I often asked Heidi to call me and give me a joke of the day. When the family laughs together, we build a stronger bond.
Laughter is great medicine for any family. Did you know that the peak age of laughter is four? Four year olds laugh every four minutes, which is more than 400 times a day. Adults laugh, on average, just 15 times during an entire day. When Norman Cousins wrote the book Anatomy of an Illness, his premise was that humor and laughter have the power even to cure a disease—cancer, in his experience. If humor can cure an illness, then it definitely can have the power to bring families together.