Instead of April Fool’s Day this year, I’m going to propose we have a National Don’t Worry, Be Silly Day. This would be a day we’d set aside to stop everything we’re doing and take a hard look at all the things that make us so anxious. Once a year, then, we’d get to see how silly it is to place such importance on things like wealth, looks, status, prestige, and power.
Dress on this day would be simple: no Tommy Hilfiger or designer sweats, just really plain, old, baggy, clothes, and flip-flops. Hats would be encouraged—and of course, the sillier, the better. Women would not wear makeup and men would not have to shave. So no one would have to worry about what to wear, or how they looked, because everyone would look the same—silly.
All cell phones, laptops and mobile devices of any kind would be banned, and everyone would have to leave his BMW or Lexus at home and use either stilts or a pogo stick to get places. What’s more, no one would reveal who they really were, and what they really did. Instead, if anyone asked, each person would pretend he worked at some job the very opposite of his own. This way, one day a year, we would all see how it feels to walk in our neighbor’s shoes.
Meals on this day would be simple, too. Every town would have a huge fair offering tables of smiley-faced peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dessert cups of fake eyeballs in red Jell-O. No low carb, low-fat food, or arugula would be allowed. Cafe lattes and designer spring water would be nixed as well. The good news is no one would go hungry on this day because the food would be free. The bad news is anyone mentioning a diet would have to eat two banana splits with sprinkles.
Singing and dancing would be encouraged—regardless of ability. There would be silly putty sculpture exhibitions and open mike sessions with topics like, “The Silly Things I Worry About.” Competitive or status sports would be a no-no. But anyone who had always wanted to bungee jump, climb a wall, go skateboarding or ride a unicycle, but never had an opportunity, could give it a whirl. This way, since no one would take anything seriously, we could try things we have always wanted to do and not have to worry about doing poorly. Happily, we would all get the chance, as Jesus encouraged us, to “become as little children” again.
Best of all, since the mood would be carefree and silly, there would be no one to hate and nothing to fight about. And anyone caught sporting a furrowed brow would get a pie in his face, either chocolate fudge, or banana cream.
Now, just before the close of Don’t Worry, Be Silly Day, there would be a contest. The object would be to explain how being silly one entire day could help us stop being anxious for the other 364. Since no one’s answer would be any better than anyone else’s, everyone would be a winner. And the prize would be learning how to worry less, and laugh at ourselves more.
Adapted from: The Worrywart’s Prayer Book