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  • Viva Sarah Press

Joy of failing

Oshi the clown

Learning from failures is important.

Being able to fail, to really embrace a failure, is even more significant if the experience is to be learned.

I preach it to my kids.

I tell it to myself.

Oshi, my alter ego, breathes this motto every moment. I envy her joy of failing; her ability to be so unsuccessful at so many different undertakings.

Oshi, an educational clown, is all about bringing pleasure to people she meets.

But in order to create this joy she usually needs to fail.

At schools, where Oshi works, she is often called over by a well-meaning pupil to come cheer someone up. She always says she can’t make someone laugh but she’ll come have a look. Because when someone is expecting to laugh at something Oshi does, the likelihood of it succeeding is almost zero.

Avner the Eccentric explains this impossibility like this: “One of the great paradoxes of comedy is you have to get laughs but if you try to get them you can’t.”

So, if someone needs cheering up in school – Oshi will first observe the situation. Be present in the moment. Take in her surroundings.

Oshi stays in the present moment. She doesn’t focus on what happened before this moment or what will happen after. Right now is crucial. And acting accordingly to the present moment is what clowning is all about.

Oshi’s goal is to share the joy of now with others.

So, once she’s observed the situation, she’ll usually say the wrong thing or do something incorrectly, which, of course, was exactly the right thing she needed to say or do.

An utter failure. What joy!

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