Monday, January 24, 2011


I was thinking about jokes earlier today, and I started to get worried because I make jokes a lot.  Oftentimes, these jokes are at the expense of other people, and that's one expense I can't afford to pay.

What worries me is that telling jokes has become a habit with me, and I will tell jokes without thinking them through.  As always, doing something without thinking about it is very dangerous.  It is so easy to say something mean and hurtful, under the guise of the joke.  And in fact, most of the jokes we see told by the comedians on TV are made to attack other people.

Now, some people will say or do something awful, and later, they try to pass it off as "just a joke". They use "I was just kidding" as an excuse to say whatever they want.  The idea behind this is that, as long as it was a joke, it was okay.  You can do anything, as long as you're trying to be funny.  And this idea is clearly false.  Joke Land isn't a place where there is no right or wrong, so you can do whatever you want.  There is no place like that; there is no place where right and wrong don't exist.

You can't escape morality, whether your excuse is "I was just kidding," "I was drunk," "everyone does it," "I didn't know," or any of the thousands of excuses people use.  Every human action has a moral dimension to it.  It is impossible to do something which is neither right nor wrong, even though a lot of people think otherwise.

So, like I said, now I'm kind of worried about the jokes I make. I hope I'm not doing a bad thing by telling jokes.  I'm sure that sometimes, it's bad to tell jokes, and other times, it's good, depending on the circumstances and the joke itself.  I'll try to be more careful about the jokes I make in the future.


Anonymous said...

its hard to tell a good joke without it being harmful in some way...

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring, Michael. :)

Anonymous said...

You bring up some very true points. I know I've joked around a few times and then realized what I said wasn't very nice, even if it was funny. So I've been trying to watch my myself so I don't say something I'll regret, just like you're trying to do. :)