Clowns: Scary or Misunderstood?

May 22, 2019 by Joe Kiedinger

When I was a kid, I was raised to love clowns. In those days, there were many traveling circuses that would visit Green Bay. My parents would take me many times in my youth and the clowns weren’t scary at all. They were funny and flawed. Some were happy and some were hobo clowns carrying their belongings in a handkerchief tied around the end of a stick.

Then came my love of musicals. When I was in grade school, the local theater company put on the musical Barnum based on the life and times of P.T. Barnum (yes there was a circus-themed musical established before The Greatest Showman was produced). My siblings were in that show. It so inspired my brother David that he became a local celebrity clown. ‘Cuddles the Clown’ had his own cartoon TV show, a sponsored anti-drug show for schools and appeared at birthday parties and corporate picnics.

So, as you can see, clowns in my life were happy, safe and fun. As a child, I even used to dream of clowns when I couldn’t fall asleep. Since then, the environment around these fun-loving characters has changed. Now, the movie IT has appeared on the scene. There are creepy clowns that walk around wearing black and don a scary face. The environment around these characters has changed because some people saw the ‘scary’ in clowns and decided to creep that image into our minds.

What is happening in our society is that what we were once warned TV would do to our brains, social media and the internet is doing to our kids and ourselves at a much faster rate. We are being inundated with messages that are dark, misinterpreted and downright scary. Why? Humanity has a fascination with the dark and scary. That’s why we love watching murder mysteries like 48 Hours and 20/20.

May I suggest an alternative? Delete social media and newsfeeds off your phone. Choose what information you wish to occupy your mind. There is no mystery as to why depression has escalated in the last decade. What we feed our minds our nervous systems process. I say enough… send in the real clowns!

Joe Kiedinger

ACTION PLAN: 1) Track your phone usage last month. 2) Remove social media from your phone and monitor your contentment over the next month. 3) Compare phone usage. 4) Be at peace; be amazed.

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