Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: laughter

  • The tortoise and the hare: a pandemic perspective

    Pranita Rao  Pune, India   The Tortoise and the Hare. Illustration From The Æsop for Children, by Æsop, illustrated by Milo Winter. Project Gutenberg.  “Are you ready to lose again?” smirked the hare, looking down at the tortoise who was warming up for their weekly running challenge. The tortoise spent his days training body and mind to win races against the…

  • The anatomy of bibliotherapy: How fiction heals, part III

    Dustin Grinnell Boston, Massachusetts, United States A cure for loneliness In the video “What is Literature For?” produced by The School of Life, author Alain de Botton claims that books are a cure for loneliness. Since we cannot always say what we are really thinking in civilized conversations, literature often describes who we genuinely are more…

  • Rethinking the impulse to empathize: a sister’s perspective on sympathy and stigma

    Jeanne Farnan Pennsylvania, United States   Mary Cassatt, Mother Combing Sara’s Hair, 1901. Private collection. Web Gallery of Impressionism “I am so sorry.” My youngest sister, Annie, was born during the spring semester of my first year of high school. These four words are etched into my memory, integrally intertwined with the events of that…

  • Warning: laughter can be hazardous to your illness

    Bharata WinghamBuckingham, Virginia, United States A cheerful heart does good like a medicine: but a broken spirit makes one sick.—Proverbs 17:22 Laugh for the health of it! When is the last time you had a good laugh? This was a question I used to ask myself from time to time. If I needed a chuckle,…

  • Healing through laughter

    Farrah BuiNew Jersey, United States “If there is one thing to know about me, it’s that I refuse to ever eat honey again,” Ben explains to the audience. Immediately, looks of confusion and raised eyebrows appear among the faces in the crowd. “Don’t worry, it’s not just cause I have diabetes!” he tells them as…