They say it's what separates us from the animals. We all do it but few of us can explain what it actually is. It's something commonplace, yet at the same time profoundly mysterious.
I'm talking about laughter.
Some people even ask 'what use is it?' but science tells us that laughter actually does bring physical and psychological benefits to humans. It's supposed to make us happy, feel good and bond relationships. And making someone laugh can help get them through difficult situations.
So what makes you laugh? I've been severely scolded because of my weird sense of humour. I admit it. If you fall down the stairs, bump into a shop door, get stuck in the train doors - I'm the one who's laughing uncontrollably in the corner until I can regain my composure to help, and I don't even know why. I just find things like that funny - when it's happening to someone else! My practical jokes are worse, and they've back-fired a few times, so I'm very careful what I do now.
People say I have a contagious laugh. Once I start, bit by bit everyone around me will join in and they don't even have a clue why I'm laughing! Some people have a nervous laugh. If you catch them out in conversation or something doesn't seem quite what it is, they laugh it off in an unconvincing way.
I've even seen people laugh and cry at the same time when faced with terrible adversity. Perhaps it's a coping strategy.
So look at how complex and mysterious laughter is. It can be hysterical, evil, laughing insultingly in someone's face or a joyous expression of laughing together.
So the next time you're laughing, ask yourself, why am I laughing, what kind of laughter is it, and what is laughter anyway?
So, my question is:
What makes you laugh?
Have you ever played a joke on someone and it back-fired?
Where do your draw the line between what's funny and what is 'sick' humour?
I'd love to hear your comments, views and opinions.