My new article on Linkedin “Serious about Growing? Learn to Laugh about Yourself”
If we could look at ourselves from aside and see our little faults, we wouldn’t only make life easier for ourselves, we would also learn a lot about human nature, the nature of Creation, and how we can better ourselves. Good humor is when you laugh about yourself; bad humor is when you laugh about others. The former elevates you; the latter degrades others.
Potentially, we all have a sense of humor. Regrettably, we are so buried under problems, competitions, and social calculations that we cannot allow ourselves to simply laugh about things. So, instead of laughing, we suppress our sense of humor.
Developing a sense of humor is no joking matter. Humor is the ability to look at my own faults from above, sort of rise above myself and laugh at what nature has done with me, at how it’s made me. It is the most constructive and positive form of self-criticism. Humor helps us see who we truly are, and once we recognize our negative attributes we can begin to correct them. Because humor makes it much easier to see our faults, it is a vital tool in our growth toward becoming better people.
Today, however, as with most other things about human nature, we have completely warped the meaning and purpose of humor. Instead of laughing at ourselves as a means to grow, we laugh at others in order to belittle them. We use humor precisely the opposite of how we should, and the result is that today’s humor increases people’s sadness rather than diminish it.
Mockery is forbidden; it is not humor but malice. It is fine if we laugh about human nature in general since it allows us to bring up points that we can improve so as to tighten our connections with others, but laughing at other people’s weaknesses increases alienation and contributes nothing to correcting human nature. People who do that should not get public endorsement of any kind. If we want to grow and improve ourselves and our lives, we should learn to laugh about ourselves.