When you do find humor in trying times, one of the first and most important changes you experience is that you see your perplexing problems in a new way -- you suddenly have a new perspective on them. As a result of this new vantage point, you may also see new ways to deal with the problems. Laughter can help relieve tension in even the heaviest of matters. For example, during the Cuban missile crisis, Soviet and American negotiators became deadlocked. There they sat in silence, until someone suggested that each person tell a humorous story.
There is another amusing tale that I sometimes tell in my workshops which illustrates how a little humor can help ease a troublesome situation. It comes from the Jewish tradition. The story says that the world will come to an end in three days. In three days, everything will be covered by water and everyone will drown. Humor can be one of our best survival tools. Victor Frankl knew this when he was incarcerated in a German concentration camp. Humor gave him hope for the future and something to look forward to each day.