The forever coveted personality trait attributed to such descriptions of it that convey exactly what it is ‘in good humor’, the exploration of the comical, or more preferably the witty is an endowment ingrained in at least half of the entire human existence. There’s no denying the power encompassed in a good laugh, the more than superlative experience of which is known to correlate directly, and most prominently as well, with the most exuberant of existences whether in body or in spirit. From spheres of the physical to the relational, across assertions of the personal as also the social, in awarenesses ranging from the profound to the relaxing, the importance of humor manifests as being embodying of its very essence- one that has been intricately imbued in the living of life itself. And in such diverse views of it that hail it as being a gift from God to those that more than exalt its status as being definer of the good life, it indeed is true that humor and thereby correspondingly laughter is the ultimate elixir of life and one that veritably stems from it as well.
In such attributes of it that emerge as rather natural, it is no surprise that laughter is a spontaneous reaction that we all learn to deliver quite early in life, in fact within the first few months of our being upon earth. Fascinating however are such shows of the ‘reflex smile’ that might characterise humans as ‘new’ as newborn babies but which aren’t induced nor triggered by the abundance of humor around. Whatever that might be, as something we are driven to in all naturality, as an involuntary response to what might classify as humor to us, that despite its greater individuality is still resident enough in the ‘to each his own’ realisation, this trait of the funny whether in deliverance or in experience indeed is something that is very characteristic of lives and not just those identifying with the human world. Think primates and apes and of course the Big Chimp typically evoked in hilarious indeed depictions of its laugh in image and you sure would experience a desire to laugh yourself, in more than resonant synchronicity with one of your ancient ancestors!
The power possessed by this commonplace indeed treasure of humor is such that makes it a reflex we turn to more than often to seek relaxation in. Whether that be something we deliberately scrounge for or arrive at very randomly, it indeed is real a facet of the human existence that we choose to concern ourselves with over our four legged forefathers that a good humor is a superfine basis for life to amble along. In psychological as well as as assertive physiological reiterations of life, laughter delivers its immense hoarding of benefits. And perhaps the ground from which this notion of laughter being the best therapy developed and came to establish its truth as well is established in the very literal exploration of where the word humor has been derived from. Entailing to the system of humoral medicine practised by the ancient Greeks as also their Roman counterparts, the origins of humor to mean this purging indeed mechanism for both body and soul came to be. Though first recorded in English writing only in the 14th century- 1340 to be precise, the roots of humor flows instead from the namesake Latin assertion for body fluid or liquid. Exclusively ‘medicinal’ therefore right in its mere stating has been the earliest references from where humor gained its substance, as being identifiers of the body liquids that supposedly control human health and emotion. The four fold flow of yellow bile, black bile, blood, and phlegm was what was believed to govern the holistic human health with each of these chief substances even associated with a specific personality trait, the unique composition of which being what created the many different ranges of disposition across which every individual human dwelt. That already is too much science in profusion backing what tends to be a typically light hearted rendition across the sphere of the emotions but even in its not so reputed basis, humor indeed is far more allowing of the sciences to take over its reputation in immense needfulness.
But before we go into deeper analysis of the far more complex and perceivably ‘realer’ science eliciting humour out of us humans in all credibility of its essence as a social tool, it still makes for intriguing an exploration the particular personalities that corresponded to an excess or deficit of a certain humor, in all the juices of them. Too much of the yellow bile for instance likely resulted in aggravated aggression while an overflow of the black induced, very realistically indeed, more than optimal levels of sadness to extents that could characterise you as the poetic sounding but the practically sapping personality harbouring of the melancholic aura. An excess of blood in the body led to the development of a sanguine temperament while phlegmatic folks were believed to be such genial indeed assertions resting rather easily in the coveted charms of contentment.
It perhaps would be more than humorous indeed a proposition for us to still entitle ourselves to classify as such personality types as per our liking by simply turning to such remedies that helped achieve the balance by draining out the undesired streak of humor and introducing instead the chosen one. But for all the advancement that modern science has made, it would be ridiculous to still be delving into this hoary haven of what humour essentially could be versus what it actually is. And yet, the premise of all this hullaballoo generated by humor does not transcend still the essence of it being more survivable than enjoyable a facet of emotion that we have come to inhabit. But the basic nature of it in being a response evoked out of us rather than being a complex trail of what goes behind its evocation stands still, in firm reiteration of it as a primal, ancient act, one that renders us more in conformity with the virtue of living.
Our synonymous almost rounding of humor and laughter might be one very rational to the universal consensus of humor indeed being something leading to hearty laughs delivered out and loud (or as modern acronyms would incline us to believe, best enjoyed while rolling all over the floor) or inciting at least of the slighter and slightest of responses emerging as a smile or a smirk respectively but they still are separate entities despite their more than obvious correlation either in directness or indirectness. Humor might or might not induce laughter as depends on personal interpretation and understanding of it. As a broader and at the same time a constricted catering to the realm of the emotional, humor indeed is tricky an assertion of what humans seek out deliberately while also pursuing it in at least as much zest in chance encounters of it.
And yet, despite being a pleasurable fore of life that all like to engage in and hence an emotion or an emotional response that humans have developed through their existence in evolution, the exact explanation for why this adaptive reaction came to be is one that cannot yet be definitely elucidated. Innate yet learned is this knack that one comes to harbour for humour, both in its deliverance and in reception, and in assertions that can be equally conscious or subconscious, driving humans to health and heartiness in the enjoyment and experience of life. Similarly dwelling on dual grounds though is the inclination of humor to be a marker of genuinity or a concealer of it by virtue of the responses it ends up eliciting. No less contradicting is humor in its surprising vulnerability to emerge as immensely offensive overriding the universal holding of it in all things easy and simply amusing. Equally susceptible is humor to not remain utterly committed to the largely universal expectation out of it in pleasurable plays of the peaceful and manifest instead itself in hard hitting deliverances of the not so comfortable in surprising intensity as well. In such extreme ends of the singular spectrum upon which it rests, humor sure is more complex an idea than what seeks to sum up its essence as light hearted banter.
The confusing dominion of humor does not however retard its potency when it comes to being the ultimate healing solution. Whether that be in relation to many an infirmities plaguing lives in physicality or catering more to the mental strata of maintaining one’s calm and peace and sanity or working in part essence of both to deliver the resilience of mind for recuperating in health or enjoying the pinks of health to attain the rosiness in spirit, the dual nature of humor is more than evident. It though would be more appropriate if we label humour instead as multi dimensional rather than limiting it to the exploration of the bi- faceted as it also exerts exemplary impact upon the human existence in all reiterations. From improving both social and personal connections to augmenting professional ties, in defying the nuances of aging or in simply being the reason to seek out life across all facets of it as possibly seething with the rages of humor in all characteristic contrasts of it, humour is the eternal and universal predicament one would however be more than happy to be faced with.