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A friend of mine sent me an email this morning, one of those chain things, that you are expected to send on to others. It was meant to be funny, and as I deleted it, I thought about the differences in our sense of humor. And I wondered what ‘Abdul-Bahá would have made of it and how it would apply to Bahá’í-inspired life coaching.

And then I remembered the following story:

‘Abdu’l-Bahá loved laughter and His laughter was often a source of solace . . . When they were in prison, He said, and under the utmost deprivation and difficulties, each of them at the close of the day would relate the most ludicrous event which had happened. Sometimes it was difficult to find one but always they would laugh until the tears would run down their cheeks. Happiness, He said, is never de­pendent upon material surroundings, otherwise, how sad those years would have been. As it was they were always in the utmost state of joy and happiness . . .
(Annamarie Honnold, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
pp.149-151.)

And I thought of the following quote from the Bahá’í Writings:

. . . while laughter should not be suppressed or frowned upon,
it should not be indulged in at the expense of the feelings of others. What one says or does in a humorous vein should not give rise to prejudice of any kind. You may recall ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s caution “Beware lest ye offend the feelings of anyone, or sadden the heart of any person…”
(From a letter of The Universal House of Justice, 12 Jan, 1997.

Recognizing that this story met both criteria (not offensive, difficult to relate to the humour), I opened my delete file, read it again, and gave myself a good belly laugh. And you know what? I felt better! It was a real reminder not to take myself too seriously!

What is your experience with humour and how it helped? What’s your favorite funniest story of all times? Post your thoughts here!