I remember a time when two men would meet for the first time and trade a few jokes. It was a way to get the measure of the other man.
I keep hearing about "thinking outside the box". Folks who enjoyed jokes were training themselves to think outside "the box". Nobody needed to exhort us to do so.
Sadly, we morphed into a nation of straight-line thinkers incapable of incorporating information that forces a reassessment of our initial impression. It causes too much psychic pain. Our brains are no longer flexible.
It fosters laziness because we think we ate the whole meal after taking the first bite. We no longer scrutinize political candidates through the entire election cycle. Employers hire on shallow sets of criteria and quail at releasing unsuitable candidates during their probationary period.
We are overwhelmed by an ocean of data and we cope with our inadequacy by hoping the entire ocean is fairly represented by the first wave that laps up on the beach and caresses our foot.
Although it saves time
In the beginning... Bible...some important details get lost.
We the people... US Constitution
When in the course of human events... Declaration of Independence
In the name of Allah... Quaran
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley of number four... Start of the Harry Potter series
It is hard to miss the improvements... 2000 Physician's Desk Reference
All technical reports... 1954 SAE Hand Book
Loss of empathy
Empathy is fueled, in part, by the sudden realization that "There but for the grace of God goes me."
Empathy seems to be in short supply. I will not claim that the near extinction of joke telling is responsible but I think they are related. Many jokes spring from a sharing of the human condition. "Do you really think I asked for a 10" pianist?"
You don't have to like somebody to have empathy for them.
Can you imagine yourself in Hillary Clinton's shoes? Ambitious. Carried down the slippery slope one decision at a time. Like the different species of tortoises on the Galápagos Islands, she is on one island that is oh-so-close to the island she wants to be on....and there is no path there.
So exercise your mind. Strengthen your empathy. Take the time to enjoy a few jokes every day. (NFO has some listed today)
So, did you hear about the drunk Antifas? They spent the entire night clubbing.