Valueand Purpose of Humor
Humoris the tendency of a particular cognitive experience to provokelaughter and issue amusement. The word was derived from a Greek wordhumourswhichdescribed the balance of the human body fluids. They were believed toregulate the health and emotions of a person. Most people get amusedlaugh or smile when they experience something funny, thus consideredto be having a sense of humor. Though, ultimately defined by personaltaste, the extent to which individuals find something humorousdepends on several factors like culture, the level of education andintelligence. However, humor is good and valuable because itconsolidates group membership, introduces intellectual play, raisesthe morale of people in workplaces, makes a person attractive, andimproves the psychological and physiological wellbeing of anindividual
Humorraises morale in social set-ups like workplaces. Play and laughterunleash creativity hence elevating mood of workers (Gillota106).It is a ubiquitous, largely ingrained and meaningful aspect of peopleexperiences and hence decidedly relevant in organizational set-up.Creating and sharing humor in workstations not only relieve peoplefrom boredom but also releases tension among the workers. It helps indealing with the daily adversities and stresses. The good moraleassists people in coping with the tough working situations andensures positive results.
Besides,it consolidates group memberships. Some of its social function can beretrieved from its development. A smile is one of the earliestpositive communications that a toddler does to a parent. Gillotademonstrates that smiling and laughing in young children areassociated with enjoyment as well as contentment (107). The habitstend to accompany play and happen in social contexts. Therefore,humor becomes a significant aspect of social cohesion. It may also bea means of ensuring that group members observe the group norms. Forinstance, a collection of hippies may end up laughing at one of theirown upon having a complete head-shave. In this instant, the laughterdirected at the person may be regarded as a social sanction. Atextreme, the victim may be isolated from the other members throughmockery as well as ridicule. The process is perceived at its cruelestamong young people playing in school.
Italso brings intellectual play. It may be fundamentally cognitive.Gillotastates intellectual humor presents momentary freedom to individualsfrom the tyranny of logical thoughts (107). It allows people to runaway from reality bounds and indulge their capacity for originalityand creativity. In addition, humor ensures the psychologicalwellbeing of a person. It contributes to an elevated subjectivemental wellbeing of a person (Gillota107).Research shows that it is a major factor in attaining and sustainingimproved psychological status. The hypothesis is referred to asgeneral facilitative proposition for humor, that is, humor leads toimproved mental health.
Anothermajor purpose of humor is that it brings positive physiologicaleffects. It makes light of complicated and stressful situations.Gillotaadds that it brightens up the social atmosphere (108). It bringspositive experiences and makes situations enjoyable. Laughter may bea supplement for cardiovascular exercise and can improve the muscletone. Some laughter attributes to an improved immune system. Inaddition, it makes people think outside the box. Gillota(108) adds that it compels individuals to question themselves. Itpresents an outside perspective of life and people’s attitudetowards all things. Humor can saw harshest of facts withoutdeveloping any animosity.
Humoralso improves the leadership qualities of a person. It helps a leadercommunicate important messages to his or her subjects effectively(Gillota109).It is imperative, therefore, for managers and various leaders tolearn ways of incorporating humor into their speech. It is a part ofthe leadership art, of getting along with individuals and gettingthings done. If a manager is humorous, then the people he or sheleads will be at all times respect him and do whatever the leaderwants. According to Gillota,it can be one of the keys to success (110). It is believed to besignificant in career advancement, and those who do not confuse jokesto absence of seriousness in workplaces would ensure that theyexecute the instructions given to them in an appropriate manner.Additionally, some research confirms that the two most desirablequalities in a leader in his attempt to ensure success in managerialwork are good work ethics and proper sense of humor (Gillota110).Firms like Zappos and Southwest Airlines have employed humor and apositive, humorous culture to assist brand their companies, attractand retain their employees and have new customers. A leader cannotgrow a firm on the back of unhappy workers.
Humoris also a model tool for airing social taboos. It issues a safetyvalve for presenting a taboo thought, particularly the ones relatingto aggression and sex (Gillota110).They are natural tendencies and needs that must be sociallycontrolled, but entire suppression is less realistic. In the samemanner that participating or watching a boxing match issues asocially acknowledged outlet for the aggressive impulses. Thereforehumor is an arena for the regulated presentation of impulses that arepotentially threatening or frightening to civilized society.
Italso introduces social criticism. Satire is a kind of humor wherebysocial and political individuals or institutions in the public eyeare humanized and ridiculed (Gillota111).It may be a way of releasing tension, thus supportive of the statusquo, or may cause alterations in the system. Since frustrations arethe chief causes of aggression, it is not surprisingly that theindividuals who frustrate the pleasures of the society become humorprime targets, for instance, the police, teachers, and othergovernment officials. The humorous pleasure generated from a joke maybe heightened by improving the social power of the person involved orthe victim and his level of alienation from the audiences. Outrightaggression towards individuals in power whom we despise and fear isless permissible, therefore giving indirect satisfaction.
Humortoo makes a person attractive. Arguably many people are attracted toindividuals with a sense of humor (Gillota112).Recent research suggests that humor and honesty are ranked the bestattributes that a person can possess and be attractive to others.Though most humorous individuals are perceived less intellectual,they are more cheerful. When a person is humorous, fewer peopleconsider his or her intellectual level. It can positively affect thedesirability of an individual. People may also it as a defenseagainst anxiety and fear. By laughing at objects or things thatfrighten, individuals can bring everything under control and renderthese objects less menacing. For instance, a comedian may say ‘I amnot afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it occurs.
Conclusively,humor is valuable for the role it plays in the social organizations,making people live in harmony and stress free. It makes leaderscommunicate well with their employees who consequently execute theirservices in an appropriate manner. However, these people should notreplace humor with lack of seriousness in work. People should use itto reduce their anxiety and fear as well as create a relaxedenvironment for social interactions.
Gillota,David. "Stand‐UpNation: Humor and American Identity." TheJournal of American Culture38.2 (2015): 102-112.