‘A day without laughter is a day wasted,’ said Charlie Chaplin, the most memorable man of film during the silent age of 1920s with his films so popular and famous around the globe. He appeared as a funny-looking man in The Little Tramp who had no money, was always in trouble and trying creative ways to get away from it in a humorous manner.
A powerful contagion
Humour helps people let go of stressful worries and difficulties they face every day. So, giving people a reason to smile is a big deal. This helps to line up people to laugh while seeing a clown or a joker in a circus, which is otherwise a daunting skill, to bring smiles to the depressed or stressed faces. Seeing two people laughing at a joke you did not hear will definitely make you smile even if you don’t realise it. It’s contagious.
A duck walks into a bar. Is it a joke? Well, this in itself assesses the pleasure and gives the reward of an ‘aha moment’ by defying one’s expectations. With any humorous punch line, the mind and heart jiggle with mirth and ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters help for a titter or humour or a laugh, sending signals to the brain: ‘Hey! That’s clever, that’s worth it.’ And we laugh.
Before we could laugh, perhaps laughter told early humans that everything was OK, that you may come to my side. Science reveals that laughing marks the passing of danger and we laugh out of relief when we are surprised by an element of a joke. Humour plays a role in mood changes and laughter is like a punctuation mark.
To titter is human, to laugh?
Workplaces need not be serious. Rather, some humour may improve productivity and well-being. It brings the air of levity and dissolves tension with collective happiness. Humorous blue-collar leaders are never less influential or less-respected, but certainly are more likeable and more trusted. So, to err is human, to laugh? Divine. It does not matter to God if one considers him the King of Jokes. As ‘He’ is the only one who sees the cosmic comedy as sober but happy everlasting mirth.
Gusto – once a day
I need to stretch my cheeks, which helps exercise my jaws for a couple of minutes. New-born babies smile too by crying and have a spontaneous skill of reflex, which blind babies also possess. Jokes, humour, and laughter radiate the eternal glimmer of lightness of the being. One day the joke may be on us.
Is the glass half-empty or half-full? This should be the focus of life. So, hearing a joke next time, whether you get it or not, you must let yourself go and enjoy a good hearty laugh, which is good for you – there is always a free pass to your birth-right and incorporate it into your fabric of life and find the same nature in everything.
Jashan Jot Kaur is a researcher at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana.