Laughter is One of the Great Blessings of Being Human

As American writer M. Conrad Hyers points out in his “And God Created Laughter”,

Laughter is One of the Great Blessings of Being Human The ancient Greeks were not far from the truth in classifying human beings as ‘laughing animals.’ A fundamental difference between humans and donkeys, it was observed, was that donkeys can bray but only humans can laugh. If one has ventured to tell a joke, even the simplest of jokes, to one’s dog or cat one senses the importance of the distinction. Animals take everything literally. They have no notion of double meaning, plays upon words, overstatement or understatement, incongruity or absurdity, irony or tongue in cheek. Animals take everything quite seriously…. In C. S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia”, when Aslan creates talking animals, they discover laughter. At first they are ashamed by such ‘queer noises’ and try to repress them. But Aslan says to them: ‘Laugh and fear not, creatures. Now that you are no longer dumb and witless, you need not always be grave. For jokes as well as justice come in with speech.’

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