Bozo the Clown was created in the 1940’s and became an international television phenomenon. Although Larry Harmon was not the original Bozo, he portrayed the popular clown in countless appearances. As an entrepreneur, Harmon licensed the character to many television stations around the country. The stations in turn hired actors to be their local Bozos.

Harmon said about his character, “Bozo is a combination of the wonderful wisdom of the adult and the childlike ways in all of us.”  His wife, Susan said about Harmon, “He was the most optimistic man I ever met. He always saw a bright side; he always had something good to say about everybody,”

Then, in 1969, as master of ceremonies at Woodstock, Wavy Gravy made this comment, We are all bozos on the bus, so we might as well sit back and enjoy the ride.”

Elizabeth Lesser writes, “If we’re all bozos, then for God’s sakes, we can put down the burden of pretense and get on with being bozos. We can approach the problems that visit bozo-type beings without the usual embarrassment and resistance. It is so much more effective to work on our rough edges with a light and forgiving heart. Imagine how freeing it would be to take a more compassionate and comedic view of the human condition – not as a way to deny our defects-but as a way of welcoming them as part of the standard human operating system. Every single person on this bus called Earth hurts; it’s when we have shame about our failings that hurt turns into suffering. In our shame, we feel an outcast, as if there is another bus somewhere, rolling along on a smooth road. Its passengers are all thin, healthy, happy, well-dressed and well-liked people who belong to harmonious families, hold jobs that never bore or aggravate them, and never do mean things, or goofy things like forget where they parked their car, lose their wallet, or say something totally inappropriate. We long to be on that bus with the other normal people.”

Where did we ever get the idea that we had to be perfect? I’m sure that competition was encouraged as children, but somewhere along the way, we took this to new heights, settling for being nothing but the very best. Coming in second was considered a failure.

I love that I’m just another Bozo on the Bus; it gives me permission to make mistakes, look less than perfect, and act blonde! I no longer take myself so seriously. I know I’m going to screw up, it’s part of the process! Rather than seeking perfection, I can enjoy being the best that I can be, knowing that there’s always room for improvement.

If you are still plagued by a need to be perfect, cut yourself a break and join us other Bozo’s on the bus! If we all hold onto one another, nobody’s gonna fall off. We can all just enjoy the ride, have compassion for one another and laugh at our own imperfections. When no one expects me to be perfect (including myself), the pressure’s off and I can enjoy life! I invite you to do the same. Hop on the bus!

Posted on: September 18, 2011
Categories: Blog Posts
  1. Thank you Gerri, just having you listen to my complaining has helped already 🙂

  2. Jane,
    I came from a family of 6 kids and there were times that were not pleasant on my bus-ride to school. Kids can be so cruel and thank God, people are starting to pay attention to school bullies.

    Whatever I can do to support you in your weight loss journey, I hope you’ll count on me! When I hit 248, my solution was to quit weighing myself – I went up 2 more dress sizes. In 1993 I made the shift to healthy eating, and no more using food as comfort. It gets easier!

  3. Hi Gerri,
    I have vivid memories of watching Bozo the clown on TV when I was a child. I’m afraid it also brings up the unpleasant memories of being teased and hurt by other children, though. When I was in elementary school – and watched Bozo at lunchtime – children were laughed at if they picked a penny up off the ground because it meant they were poor (I was). Running too slow to play games or audibly passing gas were other occasions for ridicule. There certainly seemed to be another bus where everyone on it was perfect and I was not wanted.

    I think these feelings of inadequacy have become so deep-seated I hardly realize that they aren’t normal. My loving husband has gone a long way towards helping with healing but I still struggle.

    Your last entry was about comfort food and yes, food is my comfort often and I am past the 248lb mark on the scale. I need to make God my comfort instead, to pray for healing and to try to find other comforting things to do as you suggested. I’m afraid hugs and phone calls aren’t as pleasant to me as they might be to others but I do have a dog to pat 🙂

    Thank you for your encouragement and suggestions!


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