Teach Youth To Use Wit To Fight Scorn, Joe Issa Urges

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It is never too late to develop a sense of humour or learn to be witty, says Executive Chairman of Cool Group of Companies, Joe Issa, as he laments how easily people get into arguments and fights, on which the breakage of family and friends and many deaths have been blamed.

Submitted: July 06, 2017

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Submitted: July 06, 2017

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It is never too late to develop a sense of humour or learn to be witty, says Executive Chairman of Cool Group of Companies, Joe Issa, as he laments how easily people get into arguments and fights, on which the breakage of family and friends and many deaths have been blamed.

People poke fun at each other for a variety of reasons, but mostly for what they lack, say or do. Sometimes the comments are disrespectful and demining, but when this happens to you, here’s what to do: “Don’t retaliate in like manner, instead, use wit to fight off the challenge,” says Issa.

Wit is described as “the perception and cleverly apt expression of those connections between ideas that awaken amusement and pleasure.” It can also be “a speech or writing showing such perception and expression,” according to the dictionary.

Persons who are noted for such perception and expression are called several names, such as wags, jesters, epigrammatic and satirist; they are believed to show understanding, intelligence, or sagacity; and are said to be “astute individuals with wisdom, powers of intelligent observation, keen perception, ingenious contrivance, mental acuity, composure and resourcefulness.”

English comic, radio dramatist and musician, Douglas Adams, best known as the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, suggests this amusing response to a testing situation: “I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don’t know the answer”. Adams died in 2001 at the young are of 49 years.

“Wit beyond measure is a man’s greatest treasure,” says J.K. Rowling, an English author best known for the book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Meanwhile, world famous author Oscar Wilde who died in poverty in 1900 at the age of 46 years wrote: “Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit.”

But Issa, who is a nationally recognized conflict mediator, says his favourite idiom is the one which Legendary Irish radio broadcaster Sir Terry Wogan, coined for persons going about their daily lives and interacting with others: “Get on your toes, keep your wits about you, say goodnight politely when it’s over, go home and enjoy your dinner.”

“I like it particularly because it epitomizes how I think people should conduct their lives in order to avoid being party to conflicts,” Issa says, adding that “keeping your wits about you is the key to surviving each day.”

But while the jury is still out on whether wit, creativity and being funny can be taught, Issa posits that an attempt should be made to teach them at all levels of the education system, stating that he believes, like some experts, that techniques can be learnt to at least make them think in new and exciting ways.

According to Roger Firestien, author of the book Leading on the Creative Edge, and a Buffalo State professor, “the point of such programs is to learn techniques to make creativity happen instead of waiting for it to bubble up.”


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