I know each one of you out there has many traits and qualities in your personality that will take you places. You are honest, kind, courageous, wise, ambitious, adaptable, hard-working, intelligent, and much more, the traits that will make you a good and successful person. Here is one more characteristic that everyone has not been bestowed with. It is a good sense of humour. When many young girls and boys list a sense of humour as a required attribute in their future life partner, they know that this is still a rare quality that everyone does not possess. This makes it all the more important to develop a sharp wit or sense of humour in one’s personality growing up.
I say so because happiness’s secret is a good sense of humour. People with a good sense of humour have a better sense of life. It is a major defence against minor troubles and makes life much easier. A well-developed sense of humour is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life. No defence against adverse fortune is as effective as a habitual sense of humour. More specifically, a sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, getting along with people, and getting things done.
Many of the most successful people on earth are known to have a sharp sense of humour and use it as a weapon to win people and reach their desired goals. I cite only two of them. Mahatma Gandhi’s witty side often manifested in his strong views. In 1931, when he came out of a meeting with King George V in London, which he doggedly attended in his familiar two-piece attire of dhoti, reporters deridingly asked him what the king said about his dress. He retorted, “What could he say? He was wearing enough for the two of us.” Similarly, when a European journalist asked, “Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western civilisation?” He responded, “It is a good idea.” Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during the most tumultuous years of World
War II, had an incredible ability to make up witty one-liners. When his bitterest critique and the first female member of the British parliament, Nancy Astor, commented, “If I were your wife, I would poison your coffee.” He came up with a prompt and amusing reply, “If I were your husband, I would drink it.”
Ms. Reba Nell McEntire, the American country music singer and actress, put it most succinctly when she said, “To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” Mark Twain explained the magic of humour, saying, “Humour is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” Being funny is one of the best things you can do for your health, as it improves your overall quality of life. Researchers have found that people who score highly in certain types of humour have better self-esteem, positive effect, self-competency, control over anxiety, and better performance in social interactions.
Can humour be taught? The benefits of a good sense of humour are so profound that colleges such as Stanford offer business courses on humour in the workplace, believing humour can “make and scale positive change in the world.” However, psychologists are divided on whether humour is an innate or learnable trait. Here are some tips for developing and improving a good sense of humour. Trying to learn to look at the funny side of life is always helpful. Try to express your views in a witty way and cultivate it as a habit. Exaggerating features, objects, situations, or specific elements can create humour. One can also generate humour by amusingly changing their vocal tone. Collect good jokes and learn how to mould and apply them in certain situations. Make it simple, as simplicity is an inherent quality of humour. Make it short, as unnecessary length kills the humour. Maintain a positive attitude and keep your humour miles away from any negativity. Avoid humour at someone’s expense. Remember that sense of humour is an art which can only be improved by practice. A sense of humour has a symbiotic relationship with creative intelligence. Try and cultivate both.
With these words, I wish you all success in your every endeavour.