Friday, October 18, 2013

an evening with the clowns

It was the day after Eid, I went to Amman to attend this meeting with Patch Adams before we actually join him and his team to visit the Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. I nearly gave up on attending this meeting after not being able to find a company to go with me. Long story shot, I managed to get someone to go with who turns out to be the person in charge of the visiting programs, and I ended up having lunch with speakers for the transgenerational trauma and the founder of the Common Bond Institute and I was like, uhmm this is just crazy, but then it gets crazier!

I then left the discussion (I was there simply because I don't have anywhere else to be, and I recalled Qutaybah told me, "If you come earlier to a meeting, you will have better chance at meeting new people", yea, tested and proven!) and headed to one of the meeting rooms for volunteers who are going to join Patch's team to visit the camps.

There I was, with a bunch of medical students and 3-4 clowns, sitting in a circle, just like an AA meeting. 
Few minutes later, we did a nose transplant, and I got my first clown nose. What hit me during the session is that this crowd is no where near being judgmental. There's no way you would feel bad about yourself when you're among these amazing people. They are so humble and supportive. Ginevra, from Italy proposed that we introduced ourselves and do some opening gestures and picked a clown name. Everybody did it, the sillier the better and I wasn't a bit self-conscious or worry of what others might think of me. We were all there to be silly.

We are living in this stressful judgmental world where we think too much of what people think off us. We fear making fool out of ourselves. But when I look at the clowns, who purposely make a fool out of themselves, just to make other people happy. How is that not honorable? 

Then a larger group of clowns arrived, and Patch as well. He took a chair, and sat next to me. I was about to pinch myself to see if this is really happening. Then we talked about why are we there and the other clowns were to tell us what are they doing / bringing with them. I can hear in their sentences, the sense of humility, of how small they think their contributions are. 

There's Guillaume who studied Psychology to be a clown, and did his masters in Clowing. There's Merry Jerry who have 5 earned degrees, writes books and what not. And then there's Carl, a Yale-trained psychiatrist, journalist,Clay and Valeria who does music, more authors, artist, and etc. I wonder what makes them do this. What makes them do clowning.

When I listened to their stories, I was inspired to clown too. We were told to unscrew our head and put it aside to clown. To use our heart and not our head. When it was my turn, I told the group that when I first came, it was merely for the experience. But now that I've heard so much from you clowns, I wanted to be one too. I met unhappy kids in my life on daily-basis, those on the streets and in the hospital. I want to make them happy. 

I ended my day asking, was it really the sad people who needed the clowns to be happy, or was it the clowns who are in need to entertain and carve a smile on a sad face? 

..and I realized the next day, I was the one who needed both the clowns, and the kids, to remind me of the greater things in life other than all I've been thinking and focusing about. To find the best of myself and to realize the worst of myself. 


Najib Daud said...

akak pergi dengan siapa lagi? aritu macam nampak ada akhawat lain post gambar ni.

atiqahdahalan said...

masa harini akak pergi sorang... the next day to ada lagi a group of akhawat yg pergi under Be Human Give Hope