Humor

Revised in Spring 2008 by Lowman

Humor is an important part of every day life. It is a universal value appreciated in almost all cultures. Humor involves smiling, laughing, sarcasm, wit, comedy, etc. Humor allows people to enhance their life by being happy and expressing themselves in all different ways. It allows people to be individualistic by the way they dress or tell a joke, and it allows the audience or receivers of the humor to have a moment of pleasure.

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Humor is a part of life. However, there are some who believe that humor is too expressive and allows people to say or do inappropriate or politically incorrect things that can be taken offensively.

The United States is comprised of people from varied backgrounds, it's a melting pot that produces a diverse collaboration of humor. The U.S. Constitution grants Americans freedom of speech, this includes humor and expression. Americans have the right to tell jokes and stories however they want to. That is why, in America, one can find a plethora of comedians and late night talk show hosts who begin their shows with stand up comedy material. Humor has a wide variety of applications, from politicians who use it for their own devices within campaigns, churches that host certain comedians and skits, and school plays and games that encourage humor. Humor is an expressive, and subjective value, which is intrinsically tied to daily life.

Humor applies to all stages of life. When infants smile for the first time it's always a celebrated affair. Children are encouraged to laugh and smile, and people of all ages watch comedic movies, t.v. shows, plays, and musicals. There are many published novels, poems, children’s books, and so on that incorporate humor. Adults often attend Comedian performances or watch shows like “Saturday Night Live” on television which is meant as humorous entertainment.

Humor is prevalent in all parts of the United States and around the world. One can look as far away as Rome, Italy and see people out on the town laughing and having a good time, just like they would see people laughing and having a good time in Billings, MT. Humor can be experienced as an individual, perhaps while remembering an old memory, or as a group gathered to see a comedian or play.

People can ensure that humor will be valued throughout society by encouraging acting school attendance, funding and supporting local comedians and commercials, learning new jokes, reading books, and allowing children to play. People should take care and realize not all humor is appropriate at all times or all places and that what is found humorous can be very subjective. Most of all the right to free speech guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution should be respected by all.

Humor positively influences the values of life, happiness, diversity, wit, and style. Humor increases happiness and the value of life through pleasure and delight. However, some people may be offended by the value of humor. Some religious groups may not agree with all types of expressed humor. Some humor can be very crude and inappropriate for children and young people which can negatively affect the values of righteousness, religious faith, family, common sense, and so on. There are some things that people do not want to be exposed to and so some types of humor can be seen as negative and not valued. Also, humor can undermine truth because sarcasm usually means the opposite of the truth. Overall though humor is a meaningful value and can be seen throughout daily life.

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