I heard the young boy next door laughing one day - really laughing, and marvelled at the simplicity of joy. As an adult, I think of laughter as coming from humour – and very much enjoy humour. Yes Minister still makes me laugh - but brilliant writing isn't all. I also enjoy non-verbal humour, whether from "The Guy With Tape On His Face" or Eric Sykes. But there was something about that boy laughing - it had none of adult humour. When babies laugh they don't have language yet still find something to laugh at. I guess I need to feel that myself.
Discussions on humour are just that – humour. It can be healthy or not. And in situations where masses act as one, often it's not overly healthy, or at least it's not helpful. Sadly comedians may turn to the lowest common denominator to get a laugh. But joy – pure joy – unadulterated and overflowing joy – that is a much deeper thing than even the highest humour. In many ways, it can't be understood – but in other ways, it doesn't need to be in the brain. It comes from your soul. Let joy overflow.
We lost our first daughter at birth. There's no joy in that - and I'm not about to make a joke out of a tragedy. But one evening a workmate went by. Our news hadn't yet made it to work, so he was surprised to see us. To make matters worse some friends were visiting and had just cracked a small joke, so we were laughing. You can imagine his confusion when we told him our news.
How does laughter, comedy and joy fit into our lives? I still don't know. I do know it helps us get through even the darkest of times - as long as hope is held. When you have no hope, you have no humour - or only the very blackest humour.