Beware the Man Who Rarely Laughs
On the Importance of Laughter, by Dr. Donald DeMarco
Why do we laugh? Life can wear people down. When it becomes too heavy, we need to counteract gravity with levity. Laughter unlocks, though only momentarily, the chains of responsibility. It lifts us from the weightiness of life. “Man laughs because he has a soul,” wrote Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, “hence, the more spiritual a person is, the more enjoyment there is in [his] life. In this sense, humor is closely related to faith; it bids us not to take anything too seriously.”The rest is here.
And this is why we have a continuing need for humorists, comics, clowns, punsters, jugglers, and acrobats. We need the occasional reprieve from life’s pressures. Yet we love laughing, not only because of this reprieve, but also because it intimates that one day we will enjoy a permanent victory over heaviness. “Angels can fly,” said, G. K. Chesterton, “because they take themselves lightly.”