A good sense of humour may well be called as the sixth essential . A total want of it may be as good an affliction as the absence of any other five essential senses. Hippocrates recognised four main "humours" ( phlegm, blood, choler and black bile) in the human body. These were also called " streams" or "currents" . If all the four "streams" flowed normally, one was said to be in good humour.

Humour has been defined variously by various people but everybody agrees that its physical manifestation is a smile or laughter. Kant said that the cause of laughter was "the sudden transformation of a tense expectation into nothing. Henri Bergson says it is "the feeling of relief." With humour, we can establish a congenial atmosphere for ourselves as well as others who come in contact with us. This helps greatly in times of stress and enables us to come out of many a crisis unscarred.

We can do ourselves a lot of good if we remember that except in case of stark tragedy there is always a humorous side to every aspect of life. Humour also serves as a kind of ego booster. A tale about people can be told to show that they are ignorant and thus assure us of our own superiority, if the superiority is just a supposed one, then the comic effect is higher still. It takes a lot of large heartedness for a person to be able to laugh at his own self. When a person realizes that the joke is on him and even then enjoys it, laughs at it, be considered a beneficiary of humour.

The fact is that life is too serious to be taken seriously, unless we can develop the lighter side of our natures, the tragedy of life will overwhelm us. The flippant are to balance grief. Laughter is needed to atone for tears. A sense of humour prevents a man from inflating himself with an absurd dignity. It saves him from being laughed at. It enables him to be a man among men . The man who conceives of himself as an idol has few worshippers.

"Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep, and you alone. weep" No one would pay to see the most dignified man in the world, but people pay hundreds of millions to see comedians. ln the handling of audiences, every effective speaker has found that by the use of humour a crowd of people can be welded into a unit. An audience, too, can be "heated". It must be relaxed and warmed into sympathy with the speaker by his wit and humour. A cold audience sits critical and unconvinced. People are brightened up. They begin to give attrition. They forget their suspicions. They cease being on their guard.

Their natures are changed as much as the nature of iron is when it is made red-hot. Man is said to be the crown of creation for he is widowed with several faculties which distinguish him from the lower species. One such faculty is his ability to laugh. A smiling nature increases our strength. It also adds to our efficiency. A man who "sings" at his work accomplishes more in the same time and does it better than the sony-head.

A sense of humour acts like a wine in social life. It increases warmth and lubricates our relationship with other human beings. Thus, it enriches social life. "There is nothing like fun, is there? We need all the counter-weights we can muster to balance sad relations of life. God has made sunny spots in the hearts; why should we exclude the light from them?" asks Haliburton. THE CHEERFUL MAN IS A KING.




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