According to author Douglas Abrams, the Dali Lama and Archbishop Tutu “seemed to be as much a comedy duo as two venerable spiritual leaders”.
Their humility paves the way for another pillar of joy: humor. Both men have the special ability to laugh, not only at life’s troubles, but at themselves and their very human foibles. They don’t take themselves so seriously that they cannot do this. Humor that does not mock or belittle brings us closer together, and can diffuse tense situations. Humor shows us our shared ridiculousness—according to Archbishop Tutu, “we then get to see our common humanity in many ways.” Like humility and perspective, humor helps us coexist peacefully with others.
Not only this, but studies on humor are beginning to show that laughter boosts the immune system, relaxes the body, and protects the heart by lowering stress hormones which cause destructive inflammation. Remember—laughter is a respite from pain, and the ability to find humor in any situation helps us maintain the joy that so many of us crave in life.