When I was young, I watched The Bozo the Clown Show on television before my walk to school with my two older brothers. About 20 grade school kids sat in the two-tiered stadium-type seating to make up the in-studio audience watching Bozo clown around, as well as learn something from his special guest. The highlight near the end of the show was Bozo’s Bucket Bonanza game.
Bozo’s Bucket Bonanza tested the accuracy of aim into a bucket with a ping-pong ball. One kid was chosen from the studio audience to play. They stood, nervously, at a black line on the floor in front of six red metal buckets cascading out in front of them, evenly placed and progressively harder.
Tossing one ping-pong ball at a time, the kid would win the prize next to the bucket, if they made it in the bucket. Usually bucket number six, which was the hardest and farthest away, granted the winner a grand prize; a new bike. There was pure joy and excitement on the faces of those who made it into the sixth bucket. I so wanted to be a contestant.
I wish I had a picture of my face on my birthday when I was about 9 years old. I received my very own game of Bozo’s Bucket Bonanza. The neighbor boy and I played this game for hours. Our prizes varied in a wide selection of Little Debbie snack cakes; however, no new bike sat near bucket number six. As time went on, our aim improved and we were expressing pure joy and excitement every time we won.
I got to thinking. What if everyone had a bucket attached to their torso. Rather than ping-pong balls, the buckets contained words. All the good, the bad, and the ugly comments and compliments we aim at others near us or as far out as bucket number six. Words. Accumulating all day.
At the end of the day, everyone dumps their bucket to sift through the good, the bad and the ugly comments and compliments hoping that the good outweigh the bad and the ugly. Sadly many of the bad and the ugly comments and compliments are tossed in our buckets by…ourselves.
In essence, the winner is the one who can speak positively to others as well as themselves. With practice and a lot of mindfulness, we eventually can all feel the pure joy and excitement of being a winner.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.