The Art of the Ridiculous: 365ideas4change Number 56

In keeping with the theme of disambiguation, I thought to try a word that contrasts starkly with yesterday’s theme of fear. Today’s word is SMILE.

S: Show how you feel. In the contemporary protective ‘wear your mask at all times’ culture, isn’t it a relief just to be natural? This isn’t overshare, or emotional immaturity. It’s just showing your being!

M: Mindfulness of where others are at. If we show our emotions expecting a particular response, we’re likely to end up with at least egg on our faces, and maybe worse. Appreciating that others may not share our current state, and respecting that, makes it safe for everyone to show (“up”- see above).

I: It’s the pivot-point of smile! Only I can choose what to do with my facial muscles! And no-one can “make” me smile, or “make” me frown (short of the injudicious use of tortuous equipment). It’s my choice, my control, my responsibility.

L: Laugh – preferably at ourselves. We take thing so seriously, and its not that there aren’t really serious things to consider, but I think it would be hugely beneficial if we reclaimed the art of the ridiculous.

E: Everything changes. What makes us frown today may make us smile in a months’ time. Being aware of this, we might choose that perspective. How important is what’s just happened? I mean REALLY important? Richard Carlson’s Book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and it’s all small stuff” points out the subtleties of perspective beautifully.

If you have a roof over your head; if you’re not hungry, or if you are, you can go get some food; if you have a friend; if the month is marginally shorter than your pay-check; if you have access to the internet; if you can walk in the streets without fear of being attacked because of who you are – then SMILE, because you are truly beloved.

About Julie Courtnage

With training in environmental science, I facilitate 'naked conversations' about sustainable wellbeing. Using facilitation techniques, systems thinking, art, music, writing, movement and photography, we explore the active creation of our uniqueness - personal and collective, as individuals, organisations and society - and our relationships with others, with sustainable wellbeing, and with genuine happiness. This journey of creation is a journey of Love. And fun.
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