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Introduction, Session 12: Humor (Sandpaper)

In "Toolbox of Faith," a Tapestry of Faith program

It is the test of a good religion if you can joke about it.

— G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936), English writer and journalist

Laughter is perhaps one of the most mystical expressions of a human being.

— Laibl Wolf, rabbi and educational psychologist

People open themselves up to laughter so they become open-hearted. And in becoming open-hearted sometimes the tears come too.

— Jenny Thompson Richards, clown doctor

A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.

— Hebrew scripture, Proverbs 17:22

Sandpaper symbolizes humor, a tool which smoothes the rough edges of life. This session provides opportunities to reflect on how humor and laughter in a life of Unitarian Universalist faith can help us survive and enjoy the life we are given.

Discussion in this session may touch on humor that is cruel, or humor that opens us up to healing laughter. Allow time for participants to engage with the issue of jokes that are based on stereotypes. Emphasize that humor can heal when we laugh with others, and can harm when we laugh at others. In addition, emphasize that humor can be an affirmation of life in the face of life's sadness. Humor can be a source of inner spiritual strength that helps us survive.

Although it is not a tool for this session you may like to use a Slinky to introduce some light humor within the group.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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