I have to tell the world how lucky we all are. I was privileged to stand in front of a large group of Year 11 students whom, despite all knockers and all doubters (including themselves), are about to become leaders of an entire pre K-12 school! That thought, although probably daunting for many of them, is simply inspiring. Imagine the positive impact they can have on the little school community and even better, the world!
Although I was never going to spark too much power to be bestowed upon them, I realised they, like so many of us, have been trying to be something amazing, something that their parents, coaches and teachers have been drenching them with and something else; something they're not, for far too long. In this funny society we live in, we continue to put up a front, an image that we think would please others and gain us acceptance but the reality is; everyone is doing exactly the same thing.
So, when thinking of what I could possibly offer these students, in readiness for what many say is the biggest 12 months of your life, I came back to the story of Bozo. Based upon the ideals of a comedic clown from past generations, Wavy Gravy, Bozo wonders aimlessly trying to find the haven where his efforts to be like other, more perfect humans would be accepted. Obviously, he eventually finds sanctuary in place called, "Self Worth". Here is a little insight for those looking to be inspired and be the best version of yourself.
Broken Open: How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow.
By Elizabeth Lesser
I believe that we are all bozos on the bus, contrary to the self-assured image we work so hard to present to each other on a daily basis. We are all half-baked experiments-mistake-prone beings, born without an instruction book into a complex world. None of us are models of perfect behaviour: We have all betrayed and been betrayed; we've been known to be egotistical, unreliable, lethargic, and stingy; and each one of us has, at times, awakened in the middle of the night worrying about everything from money to kids to terrorism to wrinkled skin and receding hairlines. In other words, we're all bozos on the bus.
This, in my opinion, is cause for celebration. If we're all bozos, then for God's sakes, we can put down the burden of pretence and get on with being bozos. We can approach the problems that visit bozo-type beings without the usual embarrassment and resistance. It is so much more effective to work on our rough edges with a light and forgiving heart. Imagine how freeing it would be to take a more compassionate and comedic view of the human condition - not as a way to deny our defects-but as a way of welcoming them as part of the standard human operating system. Every single person on this bus called Earth hurts; it's when we have shame about our failings- that hurt turns into suffering. In our shame, we feel an outcast, as if there is another bus somewhere, rolling along on a smooth road. Its passengers are all thin, healthy, happy, well-dressed and well-liked people who belong to harmonious families, hold jobs that never bore or aggravate them, and never do mean things, or goofy things like forget where they parked their car, lose their wallet, or say something totally inappropriate. We long to be on that bus with the other normal people.
But we are on the bus that says BOZO on the front, and we worry that we may be the only passenger on board. This is the illusion that so many of us labor under- that we're all alone in our weirdness and our uncertainty; that we may be the most lost person on the highway. Of course we don't always feel like this. Sometimes a wave of self-forgiveness washes over us, and suddenly we're connected to our fellow humans; suddenly we belong.
It is wonderful to take your place on the bus with the other bozos. It may be the first step to enlightenment to understand with all of your brain cells that the other bus - that sleek bus with the cool people who know where they are going - is also filled with bozos - bozos in drag; bozos with a secret. When we see clearly that every single human being, regardless of fame or fortune or age or brains or beauty, shares the same ordinary foibles, a strange thing happens. We begin to cheer up, to loosen up, and we become as buoyant as those people we imagined on the other bus. As we rumble along the potholed road, lost as ever, through the valleys and over the hills, we find ourselves among friends. We sit back, and enjoy the ride.
Good luck to all Year 11 students; I hope you all find yourselves.
Not only does it make the best kind of photo; it also fills the mind with positive energy, pours into the heart an abundance of joy and, perhaps most importantly, is the most contagious thing going around. No hints needed, of course, it’s a smile!
For something so small, it creates a world of happiness, and not just for you! In a world inundated with news of war, hatred, attrition and Donald Trump, a smile is a ‘spoon full of sugar that helps…’ anything, anywhere, anytime ‘….go down’.
The thing I love most about smiles is that we have them stored for miles; they just keep coming, like that ever flowing coloured ribbon from a magician’s sleeve, magic. They are just that, pure magic. I use to think farts were the best way to crack a smile, for they’re the greatest and longest running joke of all time. Everyone has a memory or two about yourself, Dad or even a complete stranger and their fluent, yet foul flatulence. The thought right now is no doubt provoking hilarious memoirs where you literally had to swim through the abominable green gas cloud in public, thanks to one of these ripsnorters. Despite its emission of ugly content and despicable odour, it creates just one more thing; a smile. Even when you are close to vomiting, somehow your body commits to a smile.
There’s no reason not to smile, even when you’re down. They have so many hidden meanings. The smile that says, ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’ or that smile that tells the person you’re talking to that, ‘yes’ you are talking to them. It’s usually accompanied by a furrow in the brows and a slanting nod of the head. Even the smile when everything goes wrong, that one is usually forgiven if you have to sigh with its execution. The greeting smile is usually put on but feels fuzzy all the same, and that smile when you hear a familiar voice, amazing. The smile dictionary is yet to be released but I cannot wait to get my mitts on it when it is. My favourite smile though is that smile when you hear some great news, receive a compliment or when you are getting a photo and it springs out almost immediately after that cheesy grin which makes everyone giggle- this one I am caught doing all the time. If all else fails, just smile, scientists say it helps our wellbeing and we use fewer muscles in our face in the process. But who’s counting?
If you are lazy, a smile is still an easy way out. Out of having a daunting conversation with that workplace weirdo, your boss on a bad hair day and even better, your enemy on… any day. It’s actually quite impeccable the power a smile can hold. Imagine how many words you would have to say and time you’d have to waste in that state of awkwardness with the aforementioned if you didn’t have a simple but effective smile in your repertoire! A smile lets you have that awkward silence, without the awkward; it’s spellbinding. As ol’ mate, William Arthur Ward states… you know the guy? Well, anyway, he stated so wisely, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness”, and his not wrong. Put a smile on your dial.
Read. Write. Create.