When you are a child you spend many hours of your life laughing, or at least you should. When you are a teenager you spend many hours laughing at people. When you are an adult you find few hours laughing and when you do it’s often about a dirty joke or something bad that happened to someone you don’t like or a stand up comedian making joke of an otherwise terrible part of life such as how it feels struggling to pay your medical bills.
As a child you laugh at silly things, non offensive things and you are usually shocked at the hurt of others unless it is your hand slapping daddy on the nose. So why do we become so ruthless in our sense of humor? Why is a home video TV show about our fellow human beings falling and hurting themselves so exciting to us as adults while our children sit in horror?
It is bad enough that adults rarely laugh but it is more saddening that when they do it is all too often at the expense of our fellow human beings. I remember growing up hearing jokes about how to blow up millions of foreigners or how to kill a Jew as well as dirty jokes which a child should never have been exposed too. I remember laughing when your mate got shot down by the girl he just asked out or someone being tripped over in the hall ways. I remember mocking and hearing others mock the downfall of someone I had never met just because they had fallen from favor. I also remember hearing jokes about starving Africans and why they had swollen tummies. One thing I rarely heard though, laughter from adults because of pure joy.
We are often happy that our loved ones get good grades or pass their driving test but even then most of our joy is only when someone we love is succeeding in something we agree with. Do we share the same joy when our loved ones are successful in their achievements that we don’t agree with?
It seems that our joy or laughter is directly linked with our selfishness, but as a child our joy is as often credited to the good in the lives of others whether we agree with it or not. Perhaps that is the reason why we laugh so little as adults? Do we laugh so rarely because we become so self absorbed and our world is so tiny we enjoy a tiny amount of laughter rather than when we are tiny the world is so huge that we enjoy a huge amount of laughter?
Whatever the reason, something needs to change.