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Humour and reverence are not opposites, nor are they mutually exclusive. There is a place for humour in situations where you normally wouldn’t expect it and it might not occur naturally.

While jokes can be in poor taste or ill-chosen, humour per se is not a mark of disrespect. Of course it can be used disrespectfully, and to mock, but then it’s no longer genuine humour. Since one of humour’s great qualities is that it brings people together and unites them – even for a moment – divisive jokes and put-downs are not humour at all, they are insults (despite what the ‘joker’ will claim).

Humour is one on the mainstays of our existence. Dictatorships don’t like humour, neither do bigots, which is reason enough to cultivate it and keep it alive.

Speaking personally, humour helps to remind me of my own insignificance, and the jokes make it bearable.

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