Humour can lighten the burden

Ponoka News reader suggests humour is one way to manage challenges and issues.

Dear Editor,

Humour can be a subversive activity. It does this by offering a perspective that not only challenges our assumptions but in doing so lightens the world that can often feel difficult and hard.

Within two years of coming to Canada in the late 1960s I spent a summer on the Siksika Nation’s territory east of Calgary. One of the resource people and a subsequent friend, Butch Wolfleg, was part of an orientation at the beginning of the summer as we toured the far flung community. He pointed to a ramshackle building one day, in badly need of repair. “One of our local penthouses,” he declared.

We could not help but react with smiles and laughter to his perspective. Sometime later in conversation Butch offered a further perspective. “Our humour has helped us survive,” he said. I had never before considered that humour contributed to individual or group survival. If you have listened to ethnic U.S. or Canadian comics, often what brings laughter is their unique interpretations of predominant ethnic stereotypes.

A recent South African comic by the name of Trevor Noah, who has taken over Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show has began to gain an expanding audience talking of the U.S. via his humorous comparison to pre- and post-South African Apartheid.

In fact, the recent title of his book Born a Crime describes his legal status under South African law at the time of his birth. Like the anti-miscegenation laws in the U.S. it was illegal to have romantic relationships between races. His mother was from the Xhosa tribe in South Africa; his father was Swiss. “As you know,” he says. “The Swiss love chocolate”.

To laugh at predicaments and at life’s ironies is healthier, I once heard, than crying, because laughing exercises and involves more muscles. Who am I to dispute a claim that promotes health and a more relaxed disposition? After all, as Noah says, when people laugh together, conflict is the furthest thing from our minds.

George Jason


Just Posted

Residents come together to light up Ponoka Centennial Park

Volunteers worked over the weekend to put Christmas lights on trees

UPDATE: Motorist dies near Ponoka after loose tire collides with vehicle

Ponoka RCMP seek assistance in locating vehicle belonging to the tire

Almost 100 kgs of suspected cocaine seized at Coutts border crossing

84 bricks of suspected cocaine seized from California residents’ vehicle; largest recorded seizure.

WATCH: CP Holiday Train photos and video in Ponoka

Ponoka Food Bank gets big benefits from Holiday Train

Ponoka County land use plan to get public hearing

Area structure plan for westside of QEII amended slightly, receives first reading

WATCH: Maskwacis First Nations sign historic education agreement

First Nations on Maskwacis put into place education for students under one school authority.

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exist

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

WestJet Christmas video turns children’s wishes into reality

This year’s annual video took a new spin on the 12 days of Christmas

Higher winds could complicate California wildfire fight

The expected strength of the winds have reached uncharted territory

Most Read