Introspections & Retrospections

To Err Ain’t Human; To Joke About It – That’s a Man!

Life is a joke. For some people, that may sound like a joke. But the truth can’t be any funnier than that.

I’m serious. Making jokes is not a joke; it takes certain skills, knowledge, and a measure of experience to make it funny. In fact, it is easier to make rational choices than to make jokes, even the most stupid ones.

Except when it comes to love and politics. That is not a joke. 

Humor, not rationality, is the proof of being human.

I remember our philosophy professor teaching us that man should be defined as “a rational being.” However, I beg to differ.

Almost every creature on Earth has their own daily dose of problems. And I do believe that every creature has their own ability to survive, to struggle, to feel sad or happy in each endeavor. Each creature has the ability to think of what they need, how they can get it, and what they should avoid in order to survive.

However, only one creature has the ability to find humor in every or any circumstance. And yes, that’s us: humans. Well, we do observe a lot of animals behaving humorously. And almost all animals display a degree of playfulness. But having a sense of humor is a totally different thing.

What makes something humorous, anyway?

Humor is a form of intelligence.

Humor is intentional; it even requires planning and timing for serious practitioners. Anyone can make everyone laugh. But it takes a certain amount of skill to make someone laugh. It takes talent to be able to find something humorous about a fleeting circumstance that only lasts for a moment, translate, craft and express it into words, and adapt it in such a way as to communicate what you personally find funny.

And to process all those stuff in, mentally ingesting them, and comprehending the hidden meaning behind certainly requires intelligence. Don’t you get frustrated when you think of a joke and people just don’t get it? Or it takes some time for them to grasp it?

Humor is measure of maturity.

Every newborn child with no speech impairment knows only two basic sounds: A cry and a laugh. Babies cry for a lot of reasons, but they only laugh for a few of them. That includes when you make funny faces – which, by the way, is an enigma of whether it is the face or the effort which makes them laugh.

Every human being from childhood to adulthood has their own share of humor. That said, being funny is not (and should not) be limited to the young; in fact, elder people are pretty funny, too – even when they don’t remember how.

I believe that everyone has the ability to find and appreciate humor, whether you are young or old. But the quality of one’s jokes, as well as the level of humorous insight, are directly proportional not to their age but with their life experience and intellectual level.

* * *

So why should we care about humor? Isn’t the world too depressing enough for us to make it worse by making jokes about it? However, I guess it is that very reason that we need to be more humorous in life. Life is too short to be wasted on sadness and despair; life was meant to be enjoyed despite its troubles and trials.

Can you imagine if God didn’t create us with the imagination for humor? Now that would be a big, bad joke. Seriously.

* * *
Coming Next (Hopefully): To Err Ain’t Human [Part 2]
  • Why do People Joke About Their Mistakes?
  • And Should We Joke About It?
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