Positively Newsworthy: The Little Things is a much-loved section of our magazine, containing reflections and observations from our editors about human connection, moments of kindness, creativity, or any other joyful stirrings of inspiration that comes to mind. The Little Things is all about celebrating life’s positive side! Our editors’ reflections from Summer 2020 can be read below.
by Alison McEvoy
Clowns Without Borders UK celebrated winning the Simple Kindness awards recently. By public vote, this ‘joy-making’ charity won a prize of £7,000. Halted by the recent world events, Clowns Without Borders are now livestreaming clown workshops online, having created a program whereby children living in lockdown can learn a clown trick or activity a day, enabling them to put on their own clown show to family after a couple of weeks’ practice. Previous to this initiative, you could find Clowns Without Borders in a variety of conflict/disaster zones and refugee camps from the Moira refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece, all the way to Bangladesh and Mozambique.
Clowning-around is a really valuable tool in times of heightened stress. Children are especially sensitive little beings and their need for play, laughter and fun is essential for their emotional and psychological well-being, as well as providing a way to alleviate their suffering. Clowning is, therefore, “serious business.” These clowns are professionals!
“Our artists and facilitators embody the spirit of play and humour. Whether in performance, workshops or training, we recognise that in bewildering circumstances, specifically creating time for people, especially children, to reconnect with the very things that make them human becomes more important that ever. It recognises children and adults have needs beyond the practical.”
Encouraging children to play and laugh amid distressing situations builds their resilience, and awakens their creativity and capacity for joy when the adults around them are not able to provide this much-needed relief and respite. Let’s give a special thought to all children at this time and encourage adults to do some much needed clowning around in service of squeezing some joy out of challenging situations.
When You Return
by Aisling Cronin
Remember leaves underfoot:
How they crackled and slipped
Above displaced earth
During the autumn of innocence.
Remember the warmth of laughter:
How it felt to rise to your feet
In a much-loved café
To embrace old friends
And reminisce of days gone by.
Remember the wisdom in your elders’ eyes:
How their love lifted you
In every greeting exchanged,
Every memory shared,
Every clasp of their hand.
Remember your days of adventure
Your delight in the simple things
And the jokes that enlivened your days
For they still sit within your heart
And their songs are unbroken:
Awaiting your return.