The Oxford Dictionary defines humour as the faculty to perceive and enjoy what is ludicrous or amusing in a given situation. Humour is the faculty of intellect, a state of mind. Every man has a different temperament Some people are by nature serious.
They take life too seriously and look down upon people who try to laugh things off. There are others who are too frivolous. They never take life seriously and sail through life as if it were just a game of chess. The wisest of men cultivate a balanced attitude towards life and do not allow themselves to be swept away by the turbulent emotions.
If we read the biographies of some great men of letters and leaders of men, we learn that they were all blessed with a sense of humour. Gandhi had this knack of relieving tension by making humorous remarks.
One has just to pick up a book of P.G. Wodehouse when one is perplexed or tense and discover for oneself how a little diversion helps to relax. Above all, it makes one realise that one had been unnecessarily worrying and making a mountain of a molehill.
Latest research in the field of medicine has convinced the doctors that patients who are seriously ill, but have a sense of humour, have a better chance of survival than those who get into a state of depression, brood over their illness and yield to despair. Some hospitals in the West, have built special laughter rooms where they invite humorists to entertain the patients.
Students of English literature who have read plays of Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw, will agree that so-called fools in the plays of the former, like Gratiano and Falstaff, provide comic relief with their witty dialogues full of puns and fun.
Bernard Shaw was a craftsman of stringing words together in such a manner that he could preach and make a valid point through jokes. He very correctly observed that a man could safely say in jest what he could not say in earnest.
It has been truly said that good humour is the salt of life. Life becomes mundane and tiresome if there is not a good sprinkling of humour in it. Good humour is the surest sign of sanity in our life.
Life is a strange web of joys and sorrows. A man who always takes a pessimistic attitude can never enjoy life. He is a potential victim of high blood pressure, heart attack and other ailments.
On the other hand, if a man takes an optimistic view of life, he can sail through life with ease, disease free. One must remember that one who is always complaining, soon finds oneself alone. It is true that if you weep, you weep alone, but if you laugh, the whole world laughs with you.
Therefore, today when life has become so full of tension and stress, cultivating a sense of humour is the best preparation we can make in facing the conditions of life on earth. Indeed, humour is a great asset in life. It enables man to see the inconsistent side of life. Humour helps the national understanding and enjoyment of life.