The need for entertainment

I read that the Norwegian arrived first at the South Pole in 1911 because, unlike the British expedition, they had a joker in their team. Somebody who kept the spirits high, who united the group along the hardships of the mission. That person was the cook, Adolf Lindstrom.

That makes me think of the role of the entertainer. Often the word clown is used as an insult. I was certainly attributed this adjective in school, when I was bullied. A part of my ego wants to go back in time and slap those kids with a copy of this article. It reads that NASA scientists say “a Mars mission will need a Lindstrom-like figure, somebody who can break the tension”.

How many times have I diminished the clown in me? How many times have I perpetuated in my mind the abuse I suffered as a child?

Joking with the purpose of connecting to the joy we are. With the purpose of temporarily suspending the roles we play and uplifting us. With the purpose of seeing the absurdity of a situation so that we remember we are not slaves to it.

Joking as a part of storytelling, to remind us who we authentically are. Is it a human need?