The power of humor

Recently my friend on death row told me: "This year at Easter we will have an egg hunt here in prison." 
"How wonderful!" I exclaimed. But then he chuckled, "It's a joke."
I often forget that the US prison system is so relentlessly focused on punishing that it lost the notion of humaneness. Offering those men sentenced to die something that could delight them, is not done.
And the reason I forget is because my friend consistently demonstrates a most powerful antidote:
an unshakeable sense of humor. He looks at his situation with detachment and a sense of inner freedom.
He chooses not to dive into heavy emotions and avoids the trap of self-pity.
Such an attitude is exceptional for the vast majority of people — let alone for someone in a cell on death row.