I’ve been thinking a lot about the power of humor again. It really is amazing how a good laugh can not only dispel negative feelings and thoughts, but can literally melt away tense situations.
Many years ago my father served as mayor of a small town, Centerville, Utah, during the time it was changing from rural to suburban. One night he was conducting a town meeting to discuss the need to put curb and gutter along Main Street. Several of the farmers who had land on Main Street were very upset about the cost of this project. As the meeting went on many of them grew angry and were very vocal about their feelings. Finally in a rage one old farmer stood and yelled at my father, “Mayor Mills, you can go to hell!”
The city lawyer, Keith Stahle, was sitting next to my father and without missing a beat he said loud and clear, “Mayor Mills, I’ve researched the books, and you don’t need to go unless you want to.”
At those words the entire room broke out in laughter and the mood changed so that a positive discussion could take place. When used in the right way, humor can be powerful. Humor can change a mood. It can change an attitude. It can change dark, negative thoughts into bright, cheerful ones.
If you have stories like the one about my dad in which humor changed you or others, leave a comment and tell us about it.