Disclaimer: This is a warning rant of the most irreverent Reverend Kelly. This is only a rant. The broadcasters of this blog in voluntary cooperation with absolutely no one have developed this system to keep you informed in the event of a real rant. If this had been an actual rant, the screaming you may have just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions. This blog serves…. well… I guess everyone and no one. This concludes this warning of the impending rant.
For some time now I have had a rant, a temper tantrum, a brain dump – whatever you’d like to call it – building up inside. And I know as I write this it will sound like a condemnation or pointing the finger, and I have no control over how you receive this or what you do with my rant, hence the opening disclaimer. I am seriously frustrated with the world in which I live and the culture I have helped create and sustain. My frustration is about STUFF!
This rant is about STUFF. You know “stuff.” The “important things” that pile up around the house, the myriad of useless things that get packed into boxes to move because you “might need it someday.” Might? Might need? Someday? REALLY? Are we that insecure, and disconnected from our wholeness that we need to hang our hats on “might?” Trust me, if you haven’t used it, worn it, played with it, fixed it, or whatever, this year, recycle it, repurpose it, regift it.
I am dumbfounded at the number of infomercials selling something I would consider absolutely useless. And if that isn’t enough, think about all the money someone paid to make those commercials that run through the wee hours of the morning. And you know that sometimes it’s enough money to feed a small country! Here are a couple of items I’ve seen that make me pause, tilt my head, and say, “Huh?”
1. Plastic Banana Guard: This is not to be confused with the “Banana Hammock.” You know that oh-so-necessary gizmo that keeps your bananas from touching any surface by letting them swing comfortably in a net? Well the Banana Guard is so much better! Have you ever seen someone flip themselves out of a hammock? It’s pretty dicey! It can be dangerous getting in and out of one of those contraptions. And the same is true for your bananas! What if they fell out? They’d get bruised from the fall to the kitchen counter! So how does that banana stay safe? Oh, of course! Silly me! Just put it in a Plastic Banana Guard! Are your bananas really that precious?
2. Hair In A Can: I’m sorry, what??? I know, I know… maybe if I had thinning hair I would have more empathy or understand, but the infomercial announcer yelling at me is trying to impart the message of just how important this balding issue is. In fact, the woman really seems to love her man even more after he sprays the bald spot on the top of his head. And if true love wasn’t enough of a reason to add more CFC’s into our atmosphere – it comes in a variety of colors!
Every now and then a rant is a good thing, because once I finish with my self-righteous indignation, it always leads me to laughter, to lightening up, to actually finding our common humanity. In case you hadn’t noticed, we are indeed bizarre, funny and highly creative creatures. While I may not be making the next indispensable item for your kitchen that will keep your brussel sprouts safe, I have my own idiosyncracies too. We all do, that’s what makes life fun sometimes. Any good rant of mine is really pointing to something I may be afraid of, angered by, or just powerless over. When I take the time to see what’s really behind my ranting, I am richly rewarded.
In Dynamics for Living Charles Fillmore said, “Nearly all persons have some pet fear. They give up to it without trying to find its source. There are various methods of erasing fear from the mind and preventing its congestions in the body. One of the most direct and effective shatterers of fear is laughter. Laugh your fears away. See how ridiculous they are when traced to their source.” And ridiculous they sometimes are!
The most direct way I have learned to shatter any fear, frustration, indignation and anger comes from something my mom taught me when I was very small. Our whole family learned how to find ourselves in the comics – weekly. There’s even a saying that goes something like, “See you in the funny papers!” Well my mom took that literally. Growing up, the ritual on Sundays was to go to mass, stop at the bakery on the way home so dad could get his two hard rolls, eat a hearty brunch, and read the Sunday paper. Most importantly, we were to read the Sunday comics and find ourselves in one of them. Because sure as the sun is gonna rise, we all knew that later that day mom would ask you where you saw yourself in the funnies.
Was it Beetle Bailey or Lucy from Peanuts? Maybe Dolly in Family Circus or Garfield perhaps? And I always knew I could find myself in Calvin & Hobbes. In the end, the whole point was to find yourself so you could laugh at yourself, so you could see how wonderfully creative, ludicrous and silly we can be at times. Being silly is a spiritual practice, and necessary for our health in body, mind and spirit.
What does it mean to be silly anyway? The word silly evolved from the old English word “saelig,” which meant lucky or blessed. When you allow your silly side to come out you are affirming a sense of blessedness. Silly can soothe, silly can restore, silly can uplift, silly can transform. Try affirming “I am a Silly Willy!” Bet you can’t do it without smiling!
So here’s your silliness homework to soothe the ranting mind. Set aside a few minutes each day to be silly. Make a standing Silly Date with a friend or two and see who can be the silliest. Throw a Silly Party and invite everyone to bring along something silly to share. Spend some time with children age 4 and under and show them how silly you can be. Challenge them to be sillier than you.
At work, try skipping to the restroom or water cooler. Wear a funny hat or a clown nose all day. Make Wednesday Wink Day – wink and give the thumbs up sign every time you see a co-worker, friend or neighbor. Try one of these silly ideas and you’ll shift from stressing to blessing in the blink (or wink) of an eye.
This concludes this rant. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.