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Looking Behind the Mask of Laughter

Depression Laughter Brokenness

Source: "The Psychology of the Sad Clown" by Alexandra Sifferlin , posted TIME, 8/13/14

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-08-18

Scripture: Proverbs 14:13

Author: Illustration Exchange
2

ILLUSTRATION

Much has been said about the "tears of a clown"--the notion that every comic face masks a depressed or troubled soul. The truth is, the research is contradictory at worst and inconclusive at best.

“People think comedians have these really dark personalities, but a lot of people have dark personalities and most of them don’t become comedians. You actually have to be pretty well-adjusted to be successful in the world of entertainment because it’s so competitive,” says Peter McGraw, a psychology and marketing professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and author of The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny.

On the other hand, research from Oxford University published earlier this year surveyed 523 comedians and compared them to a control group:

Their finding? “The creative elements needed to produce humor are strikingly similar to those characterizing the cognitive style of people with psychosis—both schizophrenia and bipolar disorder,” study author Gordon Claridge, of the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology, told the BBC. He said comedians may use their act as a form of self-medication.

Suffice it to say that relentless jesting may not necessarily mask a deeper struggle within, but it is certainly possible that it might.

Case in point: Jamie Masada, a US comedy club pioneer, observed of his relationship with Robin Williams: "He was always in character - you never saw the real Robin. I knew him 35 years, and I never knew him."

APPLICATION

As comedian and philosopher Ben Stein has so aptly observed, "We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking."

If Robin Williams' tragic death teaches us anything at all, it teaches that we must take the time--invest the energy--to look beyond the masks to the heart and soul of the person behind them. We mustn't assume a laughing face is indicative of a light heart. In fact, Scripture gives us this insightful warning: "Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains" (Proverbs 14:13, NLT).

Laughter Is Like Changing a Diaper

Laughter Joy Attitude

Source: various

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-04-12

Scripture: Proverbs 17:22

Author: unknown
5

ILLUSTRATION

“Laughter is like changing a baby’s diaper—it doesn’t permanently solve any problems, but it makes things more acceptable for a while.”

Anonymous

 

APPLICATION

 “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).

JOY to the World!

Laughter Spiritual Health Christmas

Source: “Laughter is the ‘Best Medicine’ for Your Heart”

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-12-18

Scripture: Hebrews 12:2 ; James 1:2

Author: Michelle W. Murray
2

ILLUSTRATION

 
“Can a laugh every day keep the heart attack away?” asks Michelle W. Murray of the University of Maryland Medical Center. “Maybe so.”
 
“Laughter, along with an active sense of humor, may help protect you against a heart attack, according to a recent study by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore. The study, which is the first to indicate that laughter may help prevent heart disease, found that people with heart disease were 40 percent less likely to laugh in a variety of situations compared to people of the same age without heart disease.
 
“’The old saying that 'laughter is the best medicine,' definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart,’ says Michael Miller, M.D., director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. ‘We don't know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack.’”

APPLICATION

Unbridled joy is clearly good for the heart—physically and spiritually. The “healthiest” heart in all of creation belonged (and still does!) to Jesus, who “for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2).  And God certainly had our good health in mind when he inspired James to write, “Count it ALL joy when you encounter every kind of trial” (James 1:2).

And at no other time of the year is joy more accessible, more attainable, more abundant, than at Christmastime. “JOY to the world, the Lord is come!"

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

Joy Laughter Spiritual Health

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2010-12-28

Scripture: Proverbs 17:22

Author: Sid Kirschheimer
2

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What Shamu Taught Me About Marriage

Marriage Humor Motivation

Contributed By: John Reed | Date Posted: 2018-07-21

Scripture: 1 Peter 4:8

Author: Amy Sutherland
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The Search for the Perfect Man

Humor Romance Relationships

Contributed By: Mitchell Dillon | Date Posted: 2018-03-09

Scripture: Ephesians 5:25

Author: Unknown
11

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Squeeze More Joy Out of Every Day

Joy Circumstances Happiness

Contributed By: Charles Krieg | Date Posted: 2018-01-24

Scripture: John 15:11

Author: Charles Krieg
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Always A Reason To Be Thankful

Thankfulness Hearing God's Voice Humor

Contributed By: Kory Ferree | Date Posted: 2017-07-31

Scripture: Romans 8:28 ; Matthew 13:22

Author: Kory Ferree
3

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A Rich Man Brings A Suitcase To Heaven

Materialism Heaven Humor

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2017-07-18

Scripture: Mark 10:21

Author: Unknown
23

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I'm Dead. I'm Sure of It!

Aging Heaven Humor

Contributed By: Larry Lewis | Date Posted: 2017-02-01

Scripture: Revelation 21:4 ; Galatians 5:24

Author: unknown
18

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