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Despite the context of Bonhoeffer's life of danger, his subversive political activity and his imprisonment, he often cited the importance of humor for emotional and spiritual survival. In one of his famous "Letters and Papers from Prison", he said, "I've discovered that even in the most serious of situations, there is always an element of humor." In another letter, this one to his best friend, Eberhard Bethge, Bonhoeffer encourages his friend to "spread hilaritus all around." Years ago, I was privileged to be in attendance at a lecture by Bethge and he confirmed that his good friend had a wonderful sense of humor and was often the life of any party.

Discovering this attribute about a man whose legacy I've greatly admired only caused me to respect him even more since this quality made him much more human. Bonhoeffer's love of humor confirmed to me that his love of levity likely gave him significant strength during the challenges he faced in his brief life.

See my Laughter is the Best Medicine video.