Clowns in Community Service
We Caring Clowns go not to mock tragedy, but to caress it with our compassion.
We march straight into the battle fields of grief,
Armed with unconditional love, and our joyful silliness,
We bring a reminder of the resilience and brilliance of the human spirit.
Gently tickling the heart and gathering forces in play, we give fear a hearty shove.
Ah, maybe the trickster Coyote has a soft belly after all.
Care Clowns went to Ground Zero, the next day, week, and a year later
"Come play with me in my world.
I will fall down,
laugh at myself and get up again
not remembering that I have just fallen."
As long as we can play we can find a way to the heart. But play in the face of danger, grief, terror, tragedy? We have learned to play with great respect -- very softly, very quietly, very gently. There is a tremendous amount of love and strength in gentleness. And everyone alive wants to be treated with gentleness. We are, after all called human-kind.
We Care Clowns invite fun and play. It molds our attitude and that is what makes us a symbol of hope. Hope is always present when Care Clowns we are at play. If a clown is in a shelter full of adults who are fearful, in grief and worry, we get the children to play first. Then the child in the adult heart is encouraged to join just by the sight of their children playing. There is a great need in our world to be in that moment where joy can exist. For in that moment there is a respite and a reminder of what life is really all about.
There is now a Red Nose Response organization formed by Clowns Of America, Inc. COAI that encourages community clowns to actively bring their foolishness to disaster areas and shelter. We are not "first responders." As soon as people feel safe, in a shelter or are being taken care of as in ER, or when the boredom and worry set in the days following a disaster -- this is when the care clown is needed. One Red Cross Chapter in Michigan even has it's own Clown Alley (club).
The Great Circle of Service, from Jan Thatcher Adams
Service, done with shining light and laughter, does make a difference. Where or how that service is done is not important. There is darkness and need everywhere. Most importantly, that service must be freely done, for the joy of doing it, and never for the expectation of results. Service and gratitude of spirit, lived every moment, are the chief ingredients to joy. Nothing is more infectious nor paradigm shifting than joy. And every now and then, the sheer magnitude of the difference your own light has made will delight you and gift you--when you least expect it. ~ Jan Thatcher Adams
Clowns visit areas of disaster and turmoil around the world. . . . . . .