Transmission from Saint Francesco and Clare of Assisi:
Why do you take yourselves so seriously? Do children take themselves too seriously? How can you solve the world's myriad of problems if you take yourself too seriously? How can you gain access to your imagination and creativity if your stuck in seriousness?
Oh, I know what you'll say, "Francesco and Clare, you are fools for love or you're just plain fools." But if you don't sing, dance, write poems, engage in community celebrations how will you get to know your neighbors, and how will you find your role in your community? I'm not saying that we should underestimate the gravity of our situation with the earth. No, I'm not saying that at all.
But playing, (not the same as playing games), liberates the mind and unleashes the power of the heart. Brainstorming and playing creative games can provide answers to various problems you face. Laughter releases wrinkles from your skin and gives more flexibility to your joints. Comedy, getting together with others and enjoying the gift of laughter should never be underestimated. Share poetry, share songs, and dance even if you think you don't know how to dance. Even a five year old knows how to dance so why do you say you have two left feet? Hmmm, two left feet, now that's interesting.
Tell jokes, find the humor in life's circumstances. Learn to play a musical instrument, learn to express your emotions through singing. Get together with friends and go for a hike. Meditate with Buddhist monks for a change. Go to an event that you would have never gone to in the past, but think would be fun. Hang out in a bookstore or go to a movie. Share what you love with others.
If you think that friars and monks are serious people who never laugh, never joke, never dance for joy or revel in the beauty of the earth, then you're missing the point. If you think spiritual leaders have no sense of humor, you are wrong again. Anyone who takes themselves too seriously needs a gentle kick in the butt. Laugh at your mistakes then learn from them. Allow others to laugh at your mistakes and allow them to learn from them.
I made lots of mistakes in my lifetime. Clare made lots of mistakes in her lifetime. We had fun, oh, we had so much fun, playing the roles of Christ's fools. Someone must play the role of the juggler, the fool for love troubadour. If you must report dire news then at least find some humor in it. Oh, I know, climate change is no laughing matter, but taking it seriously to the point of doom and gloom will only cause humans to fall deeper in denial.
It's through playing I tell you that you'll find solutions. It's through the arts, and not so much the sciences that you will find true healing. You may not believe these words now, but in time it will all make sense. Arts aren't frivilous. God created the creative spirit. So dabble in it. Paint, sculpt, draw, sing, compose, and write. Play with children. Laugh with children and listen to the wisdom of the child. After all, it's their future that you gamble away. Retrieve your state of innocence. Purify your hearts and play.
Last but not least, if you want to help someone change their diet, cook for them. Show them the pleasure of eating healthy foods. If you want someone to treat the earth better, model ecological friendly behavior in a fun way. You must create a magnetic attraction to greener lifestyles. Spread love, not fear. Spread good humor and show others you can laugh at yourself as you evolve.
Saint Francesco and Saint Clare