What Are We Laughing At?

This is my latest post for A Canvas of the Minds.

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4 thoughts on “What Are We Laughing At?

  1. I think anything is okay if the person joking has compassion. I know I’ve read that the people in Aushwitz survived with humour. It’s a human way of overcoming horror, to be able to laugh at it. As long as the laughter is aimed at minimising the issue rather than belittling the individual… I’d say it’s vital we keep our sense of humour. But not always easy to manage, I’ll admit.

    1. I agree that it’s vital to keep our sense of humour. I don’t in any way want people to stop laughing because it is simply good for our health. But we have to choose what we laugh at. Compassion is a good way to look at it, but then the problem is often when insensitive jokes are shared (not necessarily by someone with compassion). I know that it is a really difficult one but most jokes i see related to mental illness are not sensitive and simply add to stigma experienced by those who are ill. Another way to look at it is how we decide what jokes we tell about other minority groups. I think we as a society are learning that jokes about sexuality and race, for example, are not appropriate. I think we need to take a similar approach to mental illness.

    1. That’s a really good point. We need jokes. We just don’t need them when they stigmatise others and like jokes about subjects such as race and sexuality contribute to stigma in minority groups, I believe jokes about mental illness do them same. I don’t think we have to never joke about mental illness. I think we just need to be careful.

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