What is humour?

Aschwin van Loon
Humour, Way of Life


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Humour is a topic which has been discussed often but has been little written about. Humour is a complex phenomenon and it is an essential part of mankind. Through the age’s, anthropologists have never been able to find a culture or civilization where there was no humour.

A sense of humour is both a point of view about life and the behaviour that this point of view radiates.

There are many definitionsof humour. Here are a few of them:
According to the Oxford Dictionary, humour is the quality of being amusing or comic, especially as expressed in literature or speech, a mood or state of mind. According to the Dutch dictionary humour is an eye and a sense of cheerfulness contradictions or cheerfulness contradictive expressions.
According to Sigmund Freud (1905), humour is a way to relieve oneself of too much energy and tension, a rear and precious gift.
According to Pasquali (1990) humour is communication, a means to strengthen mutual relationships.
According to Lëon van Woerden, a nurse educator in The Netherlands, humour is the shortest social distance between two people.
According to McCloskey & Bulechek (1998), the definition of humour is to help the patient recognise and appreciate funny, amusing or ridiculous situations so that relationships can be built, tensions released and one can easier cope with difficult situations.
Junction Humour describes humour as “a short circuiting in one’s brain that leads up to spastic movements”, in other words, laughter. What is life without laughter? There are times when it is perceived that humour is only for happy situations.

Dr. Barry Sultanoff, former president of the American Holistic Medical Association says “Laughing can be a time of intimacy and communication, a time where we totally can be ourselves and one can come close to humanity and vulnerability. By laughing together one can recognize each other’s unity and one can experience this unity. This can be the best way to show our ability to give healing energy”.

However, humour has a role when times get tough and can help manage and improve the situation. Humour is a way of communication, a coping mechanism. It gives people the opportunity to build relationships. It helps to put things into the right perspective so that one can better cope with the difficult and tragic moments.

What do you think what humour is. Please let me know below!!

Please humour me and like me:

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