Humor an Important Personal and Organizational Tool

Charlie Chaplin once said, “to truly laugh, you must be able to take your pain and play with it.”

In times of widespread uncertainty, it is perhaps more crucial than ever to recognize and hold on to the lighter side of life. So as many of us are about to celebrate a different type of Christmas, we encourage you and your organizations to use humor as a powerful tool that can help us all feel less worried, less alone, and more in control.

Any moments of joy and laughter serve a deep purpose during this difficult and uncertain time. Humor helps people to cope with a new and potentially terrifying situation — it helps people to say the unsayable.

It also enables people to make meaning of their own experiences collaboratively; laughing together performs an important bonding function and brings people together in a difficult context such as this current crisis.

Making fun of the situation signals to ourselves and to others that it is not bad enough to be taken fully seriously, and can function as a way to distance oneself from what is going on.

In this way, humor helps people create a nicer and less scary reality.

Those who laugh are in control. Laughing about something can make us feel superior to the fear, and in charge of the situation – rather than helpless victims who are scared and feel as if they are passively waiting for the virus to catch them.

Humor, especially irony and sarcasm, also functions as a valve and enables us to let off steam, which might be more vital than ever as many of us are in varying levels of isolation.

Fundamentally, humor is a tool people can use to challenge, resist, and possibly change current thinking and talking about the virus. It constructs an alternative, better — and in the context of Coronavirus — a more habitable, less scary, reality.

So with that, we enter this Christmas period with laughter… unmuted!

Merry Christmas!