Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, April 30, 2012

I make fun wherever I go...
If I go to a restaurant by myself,
rest assured, people will be talking about it.
I always have a great deal of fun being with people.
It's part of the journey.

Cloris Leachman, actress; she was born
on this date, 1926, in Des Moines Iowa, and
celebrates her 86th birthday today.

Here’s a picture of Cloris. She was the Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade in 2009. And of the San Diego Gay Pride Parade in 2010. She has won 8 Primetime Emmy awards … more than any other performer. She won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in “The Last Picture Show”.

The word “fun” probably derives from the Middle English (c. 1400) fonnen, to befool.

Fools were very important in the Middle Ages at royal or aristocratic courts in the West. Why? Because they not only “played the fool” … making fun of their masters or mistresses. They also told the truth … and were exempt from punishment for doing so. Interesting, isn’t it! People of power could not then “hear” the truth from their peers. But it seems they knew it was important, spiritually and politically, to hear the truth. So, Fools  -  makers of fun  -  were philosophers and wise persons in disguise; they provided a source for hearing critical things which pride or station normally excluded.

Fun is essential to a balanced, wise Life. Comedians are an important source of fun. Remember “I Love Lucy”? Milton Berle? Burns and Allen? George Carlin? They could “poke fun”, make us laugh … but they pointed out truths that, without humour, we would not “heard” as easily.

Christianity doesn’t have, I don’t think, “Fools” as part of the tradition – though I think that Theresa of Avila would qualify. But, Rumi, many of the Buddhist sages, Hindu holy men, and many of the Jewish rabbis  -  they were “Fools” through whom Truth spoke.

Today in America, I think our most powerful Fools are … politicians. Just listen to them … and listen to the foolishness they spout.

And learn the truth.


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