Two tourists were talking about the trials and tribulations of their holidays in Greece.
“Did you have the shish kebabs?”
“From the moment we arrived!”
“Did you go on the Acropolis?”
“On it? We were never off it!”
This little dialogue, courtesy of English comedian, Les Dawson, has always brought a smile to my face. But it wouldn’t appeal to everyone.
Man enjoys the supreme luxury of being able to laugh. In a world often divided by politics, religion, race, ideology, phobia and principle, laughter can be an unusual, yet useful, unifying force. As a biological function and human quality, it is often taken for granted, but laughter can bring people together, put them at their ease, help form friendships and sometimes create unbreakable bonds.
Its manifestation can range from a nervous trickle to a belly roar. It can be subtle or infectious. And nowadays, if people are unable to actually laugh in person, they are ‘Laughing Out Loud’ in written media messages all over the world. Social network sites are swamped with friends who ‘LOL’, giving each other an immediate, imaginable picture of their feelings or reactions, thereby sharing sentiments of okinawa flat belly tonic happiness, warmth and fun. Indeed, according to the medical practitioners, laughter is the tonic we all need, and laughing is something every one of us can and should do!
What we actually laugh at, however, is another story. It depends on that most subtle and complex of man’s qualities, the ‘sense of humour’. This is uniquely human and can emanate from a variety of sources ranging from highly individual, personal taste to common attitudes of national stereotypes varying from country to country. Some sources of amusement will doubtless have universal appeal; others will be unique to a particular person, a family or like-minded people.
Some of us will prefer visual comedy to verbal humour, slapstick to sarcasm, jibes to jokes, but everyone has a trigger which will eventually set off a chain reaction allowing our facial muscles and vocal chords to show exactly how we feel. When something is funny, the effect will always be the same. We will laugh!
Never underestimate the power of laughter. It helps us to maintain a balanced sense of values. It takes the wind out of the pompous and arrogant and those who have lost their sense of proportion. If we can see the funny side, we will probably never make the mistake of taking ourselves too seriously. Indeed, to say someone has no sense of humour is usually an insult implying they lack one of the most vital of human qualities. None of us has to go far to find something to laugh at, and it’s usually well worth the trip.