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Inspirational and Insightful Quotations #6 --- Sense of Humor

Updated on March 8, 2011

Quotations on Sense of Humor

A sense of humor is a real asset in contentment. More hard knots have been untied, more awkward situations escaped, more quarrels sidestepped, more bitterness dissolved, more grudges melted away by the solvent of humor than by any other agency. ... Humor is one of the eternal humanities. It is the cement of brotherhood. It's twice as hard for serious, fanatical or egotistic people to get together as it is for companions in laughter.

—Frank Crane, The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Ill., June 18, 1917.

The better your sense of humor, the more enjoyment you're getting out of life. A well-trained sense of humor is one of the most priceless assets a man can possess. For one thing, it helps a man regard things in their true perspective, keeps him from making mountains out of molehills and feeling sorry for himself. A man can see the funny side of a situation–even if it happens to be a trying one–is far less likely to "blow his top" than one who lacks this ability. Indeed, a man with a well-developed sense of humor is much less subjected to irritation, consequently gets along with people better. Also, the ability to laugh at oneself provides a valuable release from mental and nervous tensions.

—John E. Gibson, This Week, New York, N.Y., Nov. 5, 1950.

There is nothing that balls things up like ill humor, and there is no such valuable asset in the business and social world as good humor. Men have spent years of their lives and much of their strength prospecting for gold, and yet gold is not as valuable as good humor and not as powerful. It is worthwhile, therefore, to toil endlessly to secure good humor. Perhaps this is why so many obstacles are put in our way in life, just in order to help us develop an undisturbed spirit. It would be some consolation to know, wouldn't it, that sickness, misfortune, losses and disasters result in the perfecting of our character. At any rate, that is the truth.

—Burris A. Jenkins, Kansas City Post, Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 10, 1919.

A sense of humor is that something that characterizes one who is good-natured. Humor is the lubricant that makes life run smoothly, that greases the squeaks. This is a most valuable possession for all people who serve and deal with others. It is this sense of humor that keeps the mind balanced. Without it we become lopsided. How delightful a sense of humor is, and how much it contributes to happiness, to the recovery and restoration of those about us.

—Bryant S. Hinckley, Deseret News, Salt Lake City, Utah, Sept. 27, 1941.

So much depends upon our attitude of mind. It can be grim and fearful or it can be light and tinged with humor. A sense of humor will keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. Action and feeling go together. When we act and speak as though cheerfulness were already present, we give ourselves a treatment that promotes well-being throughout the entire day.

—Carlysle H. Holcomb, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Feb. 28, 1953.

You must approach daily problems with humor, for humor is said to be almost akin to genius. Sympathetic humor, that atmosphere through which the sun of your personality shines and reveals to all the world that you are ready to take the chances with fellowman in the common struggle, is based on principles of honesty, courage and confidence.

—Otto E. Passman, Monroe Morning World, Monroe, La., June 3, 1949.

Without a sense of humor we would not be human. Moreover, to be everlastingly grim and serious is to invite nervous breakdown. Laughter is good for the body and soul. It is healthy and sane. Humor gives us balance and perspective; it broadens our horizon and understanding; it makes us come down from our high horse of arrogance and conceit.

—Hyman Judah Schachtel, Houston Post, Houston, Texas, Nov. 28, 1953.

Webster gives [these] definitions of humor and wit:

Humor–That quality in a happening, an action, a situation or an expression of ideas which appeals to a sense of the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous.

Wit–Felicitous perception or expression of associations between ideas and words not usually connected such as to produce an amusing surprise. Wit consists typically in a neat turn of speech by which disconnected ideas are unexpectedly associated.

Humor commonly implies swift perception of the incongruous, is primarily verbal in its expression and depends for its effect chiefly on ingenuity or unexpectedness of turn, or patness of application. Wholesome humor and kindly wit taken together in liberal doses may not actually prolong life but will surely make it happier and brighter.

—Harry C. Withers, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, Nov. 14, 1949.

Develop a sense of humor. It will carry you a long way and help you to see the funny side of things, especially yourself! The pathway of most people's lives is full of worries, disappointments and hardships, as well as many pleasures. We have a way of forgetting pleasure and remembering the disappointment. It is true, we have to have the bitter to enjoy the sweet, but we can learn to make the bitter sweeter by developing a sense of humor. A sense of humor is a most desirable trait to have. If we would try to develop a sense of humor, we would learn to overcome worry. Self-pity is another bad habit that could be whipped entirely by a sense of humor. Never, never indulge in self-pity! It only makes you unhappy and your friends are bored by your constant complaining. Is your life any worse than those around you? No! In many ways it is better, so look on the bright side. Don't live in regrets, either. Look ahead–learn by your mistakes and next time try to do better. Change your attitude–develop a sense of humor. Our joys and sorrows come not from what happens to us but from the way we take them. I must stress that a perverted sense of humor is not what I mean. I don't mean “horse play.” It is not humor to try to hurt or belittle another. I do not mean "lightmindedness" either.

—Emily S. Myers, Fishers of Men, Hamburg, West Germany, June-July 1965.

Wit at the expense of others is not humor. It is the mark of a rude, insulting person.

—Phil Conley, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss., June 7, 1948.

Life is likely to lose all humor when you get into the habit of ridicule.

—Henry F. Cope, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, Ill., Oct. 17, 1909.

A wholesome sense of humor is a stabilizing influence in both our self-concept and our interaction with others. Without it, we become cranky, easily irritated, and develop conflicts within ourselves and in our associations with our fellowmen. The person who cannot laugh at himself and his mistakes is doomed to a life of misery and unhappiness. A sense of humor will absorb many of the inevitable shocks of life, and will lessen the strain of our anxieties. It is a boon to both mental and physical health. Inspiration tells us that “a cheerful heart is a good medicine.” Without a sense of humor, a cheerful heart is impossible, and without a cheerful heart, an effective life is impossible. Life is serious and demands our best, but we cannot give it our best without a continuing and wholesome sense of humor.

—Bob Wear, Amarillo Daily News, Amarillo, Texas, Aug. 25, 1956.

It's necessary to be serious. It's necessary to be sincere. But don't overdo it. Cultivate a sense of humor. Laugh yourself. Humor yourself. Don't take yourself too seriously.

—Ernest L. Wilkinson, As a Man Thinketh, Provo, Utah, March 3, 1970.

The most completely lost days of your life are the ones on which you did not laugh.

—Vera Wise, The Daily Herald, Biloxi, Miss., March 28, 1945.

Laughter keeps us from taking ourselves too seriously. It often discharges pent-up feelings and helps us to be more sensible and humane. Great souls can see through their own pretensions and easily laugh at themselves and their own irrationalities. Mature persons watch carefully that they do not use humor to hurt others or put those of lower status in their place. Mature humor gives release and perspective and greatly helps people to stand the daily grind.

—Dwight L. Arnold, Ohio Schools, Columbus, Ohio, September 1955.

A sense of humor is that insight into the deep meaning of the humorous as it relates to the sublime in us. One who possesses a real sense of humor will take his work seriously but not himself. He can never become stuffy or complacent. He will adapt to the need required without being vacillating. This person can laugh at himself–never at anyone else. he will laugh only with others. And he will know when it is time to laugh.

—Franklin D. Stone, Midland Schools, Des Moines, Iowa, April 1960.

The trouble with bigots is they have no sense of humor.

—Levi A. Olan, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, May 30, 1952.

A sense of humor relaxes tension, diminishes anxiety, promotes friendship, and imparts joy to lessen the load of the day.

—Vernon Stephenson, Leesville Daily Leader, Leesville, La., Nov. 11, 1988.

Laughter is necessary to life, as it moves the diaphragm up and down and exercises the vital organs of the body.

—Carson Taylor, Dallas Morning News, Dallas, Texas, March 15, 1926.

No man really has a sense of humor unless he can laugh at his own mistakes.

—Roy L. Smith, Christian Advocate, Chicago, Ill., Feb. 10, 1944.

By entertaining good humor we have set up a defense against fear.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., March 23, 1931.

Take away a man's good humor and you have flattened all his tires.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 14, 1933.

Good humor is the world's best answer to criticism.

—Roy L. Smith, Tampa Morning Tribune, Tampa, Fla., Sept. 22, 1936.

The fellow who gets a real genuine laugh out of seeing himself as others see him has the most perfect sense of humor.

—W.P. Ball, New Orleans States, New Orleans, La., Aug. 3, 1935.

If the world laughs at you laugh right back at it. It’s funnier than you are.

—Nat Campbell, El Paso Times, El Paso, Texas, March 25, 1958.


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