Humor: Living in the Bright Side

If you pay attention, you’ll notice that the world is getting just a bit too serious. We get drowned in work rarely having time to have fun, we rarely see the front page of a newspaper being something that’s funny or lighthearted, and we simply face a lot of problems in our everyday lives. With the world being like this, we often overlook the more positive things in our life. Fortunately for us, humor is an innate to the human person and that it’s one of the things that keep us from being buried in gloom.

The importance of humor

Humor is everywhere. It is enjoyed by people regardless of age, gender, nationality, color, etc. Even some animals have a good laugh from time to time. But more than that, humor is important because it lightens up our day. This might not sound too grand but for some people, living life is hard enough, and having a little humor can help against that.

Humor also helps us build and strengthen our relationship with others. Sharing a joke or two with your friends and having fun together can help you build a better bond with each other. It’s also a good way to meet new friends as people are drawn to those who are funny or naturally fun to be with.

The importance of humor also extends to knowing its limits. Adding humor to something and knowing when it’s not appropriate is also a challenge that comes with it. Even though humor is meant for making people happy, it still should not involve taking advantage of another person (e.g. bullying). What’s funny for you may not exactly be the same for others.

What makes something funny?

Stand-up shows and comedy bars all around Singapore are almost always found to invite laughter. You will see that a certain comedian can make jokes with just about anything. We can’t even deny that there are times when we laugh at tragic events or at our own misfortunes and embarrassing moments. But why is this so?

For one, different people have different perceptions of humor, and there are things that make a certain person laugh but not another. Kids have many things to laugh about, doctors have jokes that only they can relate to, and Singaporeans have funny expressions that others usually won’t understand. This is one thing, something can be funny only to people who have a certain understanding of it. So, kids won’t necessarily understand a joke about astrophysics, simply because they know nothing about it.

Another is that if something violates how we see the world, but only so much so that is not threatening or inappropriate. For example, two fish are in a tank when one faces the other and says, “Do you know how to drive this?”. Or “what’s brown and sticky? A stick!” The answers (or punchlines) are not things we expect, but are also not inappropriate.

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