Time for another thoughtful post! Horray!
Please read the below post as well. Thank you.
Why is it, I wonder, that much of our time is devoted to making others laugh?
My first thought was simple: attention. People loved others paying attention to them, so they make them laugh to accomplish this goal.
But that can't be right. Plenty of the quiet people who would want nothing more than to have no one ever pay attention to them make jokes. These are the people that are awkward in front of a crowd, hate it when people compliment them, and rarely speak up, no matter how brilliant the idea.
Another contradiction is simpler: there are other, easier ways to get attention. Yelling, standing on chairs, and (I would go so far as to say) murder.
Attention is clearly not the primary motive.
The answer is far more exciting, I suppose. Perhaps exciting enough to blog about.
It's the laughter.
That sound the people make when a joke has entertained them. For some it is nothing but silence as they double over, for others it is a loud guffaw. For Frances it is a rather squeaky roller-coaster.
Not really the point.
People want to make others laugh because laughter indicates happiness. People, when they are making jokes, want other people to happy. It causes no joy to make a joke and have no one laugh (another reason it is not attention: making a bad joke gets you the same attention, but is not satisfying). Quite simply, people make jokes for the enjoyment of others. It is merely an act of good will.
So the next time you make a joke, remind people you are only doing it out of the goodness of your heart.
This post gave mankind too much credit. Tomorrow I'll have to be more cynical.