Charlie's Creative Comedy presents

Thought For The Week

Issue #524 
November 11, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson


This is the anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918.  It had an important impact upon entertainment history.  Many returning service men were suffering from the flu.  That started a world wide flu epidemic that caused people to be afraid of gathering in large crowds.  Attendance plummeted at live entertainment events including the circus.  Many circuses did not survive.  The Ringling Bros. owned their own Ringling Bros. Circus and the Barnum & Bailey Circus.  They operated them as two different shows, each with their own winterquarters.  Declining attendance meant they could not continue to operate both shows.  So they closed the Ringling Winter Quarters in Baraboo, WI and combined both shows into the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus based in the Barnum & Bailey winterquarters.  The former Ringling Bros. Circus winterquarters is the current site of the Circus World Museum.  The International Clow Hall of Fame is also currently located in Baraboo.


In many nations this is also a day to honor those who have served in the military.  Thank you to all the veterans who subscribe to my newsletter.


I will see you down the road,



In This Issue
Thought For The Week
Web Site Article
Educational Opportunities

Thought For The Week 

November 11, 2013

By Bruce "Charlie" Johnson




"What's the best portion of a good man's life? His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." - William Wordsworth


November 13 is World Kindness Day.


When Wordsworth referred to unremembered acts of kindness, he did not mean that the recipient forgot them. He meant they were forgotten by the person performing them. I visited a performance of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus while attending a Circus Fan Association of America convention. One of the clowns recognized me and thanked me for sitting down with him at lunch at another CFA convention fifteen years earlier. He said I patiently answered all of his questions about what it was like being a circus clown. He credited my advice and encouragement with helping his dream of being a circus clown come true. He remembered that lunch, but I couldn't recall it at all.


I was on staff several years in a row for the Fellowship of Christian Magicians Northwest Creative Ministries Conference. It was my privilege and pleasure to perform in the public outreach show each year. Due to the large number of magicians in the audience I made a special effort to include some magic routines that they would find interesting and might inspire ideas of things they could do. As is often my custom, I strolled among the audience entertaining them during the preshow period. One year a group of women approached me before the show. One of them said, "You impressed me so much last year that I wanted my friends to see you this year." I quickly tried to recall the specific routines I had done the year before trying to guess which one was the most impressive. I was surprised when she explained what had impressed her. She said, "As you were coming in before the show you noticed that a little boy's shoelace was untied. You knelt down and tied his shoe for him. You treated him with so much respect."


The magic routines that I had invested so much effort in were not important. She didn't come back to see them again. She came back because of a brief act of kindness that I didn't remember performing.


I have been blessed to be the recipient of many acts of kindness and love. I remember them with gratitude. I went camping on the beach with my Boy Scout troop when I was in Junior High. An elderly couple joined us with their camper. I don't know their name or connection to our troop. They brought their own food, and cooked Tater Tots for dinner. For some reason they let me sample some of them. That was the first time that I had tasted them. I don't think they shared them with any other boys. I don't know why they choose me, but it made me feel special. To this day I am reminded of their kindness whenever I eat Tater Tots.


The reason a good man, or woman, does not remember their acts of kindness is because they do them automatically. It is part of their character. That is something that is learned through practice.


Boy Scouts of America began because of one boy's act of service. An American business man was lost in London on a foggy night. A boy volunteered to guide him to his destination. He tried to give the boy a tip for his service. The boy turned him down saying, "I can't accept it sir. I am a Scout and it is my duty to help others." The businessman was so impressed he investigated the Boy Scout organization in England and received permission to copy it in America. The boy was never identified, perhaps because he forgot doing that act of kindness. However, the result of that one act of kindness has benefited millions of boys over the past century. Every boy who joins Scouting is required to perform acts of service. It becomes a lifelong habit for the majority.


Do you automatically perform acts of kindness and love? If not, how can you begin doing it intentionally so it becomes a habit?

Web Site Article

I am an Eagle Scout.  I learned many leadership and character lessons through the Scouting program.  I also learned a lot that I specificly applied to my career as a clown.  I doubt that I would have ever become a clown if I had not first been a Cub Scout.  I wrote a tribut to Boy Scouts which is posted on my web site.  The article includes a photo of me as a clown when I was eight years old.


Tribute to Boy Scouts

Thank you for being a subscriber.  I am always interested in your questions and comments.

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I hope to see you down the road.


Bruce Johnson
Charlie's Creative Comedy
Copyright 2013 by Bruce "Charlie" Johnson.
All rights reserved. 
Educational Opportunities

I believe in promoting any event I will be lecturing at.  If you schedule me for an educational event that you are hosting, I will list it here.  My goal is to do what I can to best meet the needs of you and your group.
World Clown Association Convention
March 25-29, 2014
Northbrook, IL

 California Clown Campin'


Ontario, CA

Dates and subjects

to be announced


California Clown Campin'

For information on additional services that I can provide for an educational event 

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