“Men show their character in nothing more clearly than by what they think laughable.” -Johann Goethe
There is nothing I treasure more than a person who makes me laugh. Laughter makes life worth living and is scientifically proven to improve health. I have met people who I found to be hilarious up front, only to find out that- not only are they not so hilarious, they may not even be so nice. Lately I am seeing people increasingly post photographs, tweets or blog posts that are funny at somebody else’s expense. It all gets down to this-
There is a difference between humor that uplifts and humor that tears down.
Humor walks a fine line at times. Is it funny if it is at somebody else’s expense?
Humor was originally defined by the Greeks as being like water, the ability to go with the flow, to be fluid and flexible. People who posses this gift to be spur of the moment hilarious are using a part of their brain that might just be inactive in many others. It is a talent of intelligent speed and dexterity that I admire. Good humor is the great human connector- it is distinctly more cerebral and more kind than the other, which is outright predatory and low-grade.
Negative humor can be destructive and damaging, causing hurt feelings. When you realize that you are in the company of a “humorist” who gains power or laughs by putting down others, you can count on being the topic of a past or future joke. So funny? Perhaps not. What is their motive? Insecurity, controversy, ratings, blog traffic? If the motive would be to draw others in to gang up on a topic/person, then such “humor” would be nothing more than a cowardly attack or a lack of respect for others.
Do you reward these people, avoid them, or call them out? It is a choice that we all have to make- who we allow to influence us, whether we use caution to know the difference. Where do you stand on this topic?