Humor is Serious Business

We all love to laugh, right? Have you ever really given any thought to what that is all about? Do you really understand it? None of us ever take the time to stop and think about why we laugh.

I think laughter is a basic human need. It is right up there with food, water, oxygen, companionship and music. Throughout time, cultures have referred to humor as a great “neutralizer.”

It is often used as a way to neutralize pain and suffering. This can be our own or that of others. If you really pay attention to stand-up comedians, most of the jokes are about something unfortunate – something that isn’t going well. Comedy derives from truth and that truth can either be cried about or laughed at. I (and many like me) choose laughter.

The Three Stooges made careers of laughing at unfortunate situations. It’s why we never fail to chuckle when a kid with t-ball bat clocks his dad in the nards.

Laughter puts the control in your hands. When things aren’t going well – you can point out the absurdity of your situation and laugh at it. You are in charge then. Lamenting about the state of affairs gives away that control.

All people need to laugh to maintain their sanity and health. Reader’s Digest said it best in the title of my favorite section of that magazine… “Laughter is the Best Medicine.” That is not just a clever phrase, there is truth in laughter’s ability to cure.

I believe that there is a spirituality in humor and those people you know who are truly funny – not the ones that “act funny” to further their ends – are quite spiritual. I’m not talking about religion. I’m referring to a spirituality in terms of being seekers of truth and knowledge. This encompasses religion, but it is much deeper than man’s religious institutions.

These seekers take that quest very seriously. ¬†At the same time however, they don’t take themselves too seriously. Also, because this is deep, heady work – they have to laugh and see the humor in situations even more than someone just plodding through life.

Yes, be a seeker and strive to understand more about yourself, those around you and the big picture – but remember to have fun along the way.

by Chris Doelle