Saturday, October 22, 2016

Don't Flinch

Things happen. Society churns like a choppy sea. People buy into hype. This will never work. People will react negatively. There are a million negative self talk scripts that become words and actions. People get discouraged and change course because they perceive an insurmountable challenge.
Don't flinch. Don't buy in. Don't feed hype. I challenge you to defy it! In the face if disbelief dance, smile, shine and perform your finest as if there was no one watching even when hundreds are.
Your actions can change the tide. One person trying. One person becomes two. Two become five. Five become hundreds. Try it. My boss decided this week no more feeding hype. All masks are allowed in our Halloween event. All characters welcome. Family friendly behavior expected. To herald this shift back to normal operations from no scary or clown masks, various members of management decided to dress as everyday clowns seeking work. I decided to be the obligatory Hobo Clown. I was chargined that it took two minutes and minimal changes to my everyday clothes to transform. I grabbed two props: a rubber knife and a small box.
I greeted patrons coming in with a tragic face and my sign. They were shocked. They were surprised. Initially intrepid, my antics quickly reminded them what REAL clowns are. The smiles appeared like snowflakes in a blizzard.  They were amused. Delighted. They were caring, and they were protective. Some whispered "Are you allowed to be here, be careful, don't let anyone hurt you, I wish I brought a pie- just made some today..."
Thumbs ups, nods, and gratitude. Gratitude you ask? Gratitude for restoring their faith in what Clowns are.
I pulled my rubber knife and stabbed myself dramatically when I got fearful looks. The fear instantly vanished at the absurdity they faced. Clowns walk the razor edge, ridiculing our fears and reminding us to laugh when we want to cry or scream. They stand in the fire and dance daring the Universe "Is this all you got, cause I got a prop and I'm not afraid to use it!"
Last night I danced that dance. Last night I waddled, overreacted, made goofy faces, silly noises and helped the patrons who walked into our event remember to laugh and restored their faith in Clowns.
Feeding hype, feeding fear by curling in a ball or recoiling does not make it stop. Being strong, bold, defiant and performing with integrity does. In the face of hate, prejudice, and stigma- the best we can do is continue to shine. Uphold and demonstrate what it is to be human, to heal, care and connect with each other- despite the rampant hate mongering and fear based hype the media pumps at us. Real Clowns DO that. 
You will find that daunting mountain is nothing when the wind catches your wings and carries you beyond it. Let it. Soar.