My roommate was a friend from back home. I loved this girl, respected her more than anything. One day we were walking on campus and we were joking around. I said a sarcastic remark to her, innocently joking around. I realized I had hurt her feelings. I tried to explain to her that in my family we were really sarcastic, and that I meant nothing by it. I told her she would soon get used to it, and realize I wasn't being serious. My hope was she would learn to joke around the same way and we would have a good time.
Her response surprised me. She looked at me and said "Dayna, maybe I'm not the one that needs to change". Then she walked away.
I was shocked by her remark. "Me? Change? Why?" I thought. It bothered me deeply. I searched inside myself. I researched sarcasm, and asked peoples opinions about it. Soon I came to the conclusion that I was indeed the one that needed to change.
I still use sarcasm, but not like I used to. It was all I did back in the day. Sarcasm can be used without demeaning others, but I must still be careful and watch myself in all forms of humor. I have thought much about laughing at people. Speaking of the use of flippancy C.S. Lewis said: “It is a thousand miles from joy; it deadens, instead of sharpening, the intellect; and it excites no affection between those who practice it” (Screwtape Letters). Speaking of sarcasm:
"A most damaging form of humor is sarcasm, or cutting, hostile, or contemptuous remarks. Such humor is usually based on inordinate pride…Though often meant to be harmless, sarcasm denotes insensitivity to the feelings of others, stemming either from thoughtlessness or maliciousness. Recall the perverted brand of humor of the soldiers who mocked our Savior by putting a crown of thorns on his head, clothing him in a purple robe, and saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” (John 19:2–3.) It is interesting to note that in prophesying of his death, the Lord included the mental torture of mocking with the physical tortures of scourging and crucifixion. (Mark 10:34.) How does a “humorous” remark designed to degrade or hurt another person differ from this? Remember, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40.)" ( https://www.lds.org/new-era/1974/08/a-serious-look-at-humor?lang=eng)
Laughter can be good. Like King Solomon said in Prov 17:22 "a merry heart doeth good like medicine". But I think laughter should never be used at the expense of another. This is something that I still need to work on.
Can I tell you another story?I was in high school. My friends and I were at a church dinner and we were standing in line waiting to get our dinner. A stranger was standing in line behind us. He had the ugliest nose anyone had ever seen. It looked like there were warts covering the entire thing, and it was huge. My friends and I noticed it and couldn't help but snicker about it.
Years later a youth leader of mine told me one day that there was a man that decided he was going to start coming to church. He came to a church activity and was standing in line for dinner when some young girls started laughing at him because of his nose. He left and never came back. The leader told me "he only remembered one girl, she was wearing a black leather jacket. You are wearing that jacket."
I felt like crap. I still do.