Everybody likes humor, right? So why is there not more of it in our lives and our workplaces? It turns out that humor often goes awry, and all too often we don't even know it.
Looking at some examples of magic that won prizes on television talent contests, we can see how easily observers are tricked into watching what the magician wants instead of what is really going on. How can we use this perspective to look past political and other messages that want to lead us astray?
In these divided times, people take up extreme positions and villianize anyone who is on the other side. Perhaps it's time to remind ourselves how to settle our differences. Listening empathically to people with the other view, and comparing how you feel about similar issues, can move us back towards peaceful coexistence.
Freethought was a movement against the power of the Church more than a century ago. It encouraged us to think of religion as more parable than literal truth, more illustration than instructions. Most modern churches have adopted this perspective on the Bible.
Born and educated in Canada, Jim Lyttle describes himself as "a recovering academic" who taught at Penn State and the University of Minnesota before retiring in 2016. He is a former entertainer who delivers lively, humorous, and thoughtful lectures on many topics.
© 2016, Jim Lyttle, Ph.D.