By Shabbir Aariz
Someone has aptly and interestingly said, “Lucky is the man who can laugh on himself for he shall never cease to be amused.” There is a great sense of humour in the saying and also a lot of wisdom as humour is, undoubtedly, linked with wisdom. Only a wise one knows the art of using humour or when to laugh at oneself. It is a gift of God and blessed are the ones who have the sense of humour. People like Winston Churchill, Ronald Regan, Khushwant Singh, Bukhari Pitras, Mushtaq Yusafi and likes of them are more remembered not for only what they were doing but for their excellent sense of humour. So the fact remains that not everyone has it, though everyone desires it. Sense of humour is not about cramming jokes and cracking them during conversations as it sometimes can even embarrass a person. It is as creative a sense as any other art to enable to see things from different sides, from different angles and in different ways. There is a definite relation between humour and creativity. It needs a right background to understand its fineness which is not possible without a fair level of intelligence. There is a vast difference between being a comic or being funny and the sense of humour. Being funny has the risks of being bitter, sarcastic and sometimes nasty too. Sense of humour on the other hand is an important aspect of one’s personality as a virtue and a person’s greatest asset. Sense of humour makes interaction easier and create better and happier relations with others. With this sense, one can defuse difficult situations.
It is also an art to discover humour in life’s misfortunes and instead of being angry which is a very powerful emotion better resort to humour, which also has a powerful grip on one’s mind and body. It is only this sense that has a fitting reply to what life throws on us. One can soften some of the worst blows that life delivers. But for its pleasures to be enjoyed, one needs to have a lighter attitude towards oneself even while not taking oneself non-seriously. Sense of humour and the right attitude are more important in the face of the fact that we are all ordinary mortals with failures, are fallible and make mistakes in life. As such none can claim absolute perfection. In order to make life worth living without getting mad about everything and also without crossing the forbidden territory of religious or political beliefs and sarcasm or ridicule, sense of humour is imperative. It goes a long way to help one’s emotional and personal growth. To have a nice laugh is a good stress reliever. While it helps in mitigating anxiety, it contributes in one’s personal well being too. It has an amazing potential of getting one an extra smile as well as an extra mile that one wants for personal growth. Of all senses and virtues, it is enormously benefiting personally as well as socially without being harmful or targeting others and also is an art and an attitude so profitable in one’s approach to life. Though historically having not received attention, humour has now come to be respected as an essential to the fundamental human behaviour. Sense of humour and spirituality together help us forge connections to the world and provide meaning to life. Had that not been so, we would not be seeing laughing clubs coming up across the world to lower the level of stress. It is, therefore, a compulsion also to develop the sense of humour if there is not one. It can also be related to the normal process of learning and to learn better one immerses in a subject of one’s interest. Similarly one can also refine one’s sense of humour by immersing oneself in humour. Having a sense of humour is being amused and amusing. Sense of humour oils the wheels of social interaction. Life without humour is riding a vehicle not with right wheels jolted by anything on the road coming under them. People with the sense are benefited in a number of ways. While creating a space around, it acts as a leveller and leaves less room for someone to remain angry with the one who has this sense of making one laugh and laughing together creates good feeling. It enables one to say things which normally are difficult to be said. Those who lack sense of humour are described as boorish. It does not cause any hurt or offence to anyone. A good sense of humour even helps undoing the offence that may inadvertently have been caused to another. By whatever angle one sees the life, one is convinced that human being equally needs to be a Humour Being too to explore a brighter alternative while confronted by a hostile situation or circumstance. God help those who are lacking in this wonderful sense.
(The author is a regular contributor to this newspaper. He can be reached at: email@example.com)