Humor, Not Mockery
Talk show after talk show, comedian after comedian, everyone’s trying to be funny, to make us laugh. But they really needn’t go a long way to do that. Seemingly, all they have to do is find a topical issue, invite a guest or talk about a certain person, and then drag their names through the mud for the entertainment of the audience.
More than anything, such media humor disgraces our society. And the soaring ratings they get only proves that we are growing worse. The truth is very simple: If I find someone else’s pain funny then I am not a good person. It may not be easy to acknowledge, but unless we know the truth, we will never change.
Mockery is not humor; it is venting our venom into the atmosphere and poisoning the air with our ill-will. Later, we shouldn’t be surprised that we can’t trust anyone, that we’re afraid of everyone, and that we feel alone and depressed. We helped build this exact atmosphere with our own foul minds.
Media that presents sneering “entertainment” is not our friend, either. These shows indoctrinate us to be cynical, mean, and unsympathetic—the exact opposite of what we need to build a happy life. We shouldn’t give these shows the ratings that they get, and we certainly shouldn’t idolize talk show hosts or comedians who deride their guests. They are not our friends and they do not have our interest in mind. The crueler they make us be toward each other, the more they profit, and the more unhappy we become.
True humor is a gift. When you look at a pet doing funny things, or when your baby does baby stuff, it’s very funny and it’s good humor because it stems from our love for them and even increases it. Also, when humor helps us cope with hardships, it is a true gift.
We can even use humor for constructive criticism, but first we must make certain that we love the person we will criticize, and then use humor as the most inoffensive way to make suggestions. However, here we must be very careful since our ill-will rejoices in opportunities to “offer sound advice,” when in fact it strives to patronize and reprimand.
With humor, the rule of thumb is this: When it brings people closer and increases affection, it is good. When it sets us apart and increases derision, it is bad and we must push it away.