Following the events of September 11, 2001 and the terrorism that ensued, I continued traveling around the country, addressing groups about the healing power of humor and laughter. I heard a variety of comments:
“I really want to laugh, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.”
“I can’t bear to watch another news report—it’s sucking the life right out of me.”
“I feel like laughing, but I’m afraid other people will think I’m being inappropriate. Is it really okay to laugh yet?”
Abraham Lincoln may have said it best: “With the fearful strain that is on me night and day, if I did not laugh I should die.”
Now more than ever, we, as individuals and as a country, need the healing power of humor and laughter to deal with the tragedies we experience. Reports showed that the country is in poorer health overall than it was prior to September 11th. Accompanying the levels of higher anxiety...