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What to do With Scary Clowns?

Ignorance *sometimes* is bliss.

VR and Clowns

My heart was racing, but all I was doing was standing in the living room. I looked silly: panic-jumping and tiptoeing around the living room. It was everything I wanted it to be.

I was engrossed in one of my more immersive VR experiences within the movie It.

It is a 2017 remake of Stephen King's movie about a scary, shape-shifting clown named Pennywise who haunts children in a small town. Not for the faint of heart, as the director says, "It's a story of love and friendship and a lot of other beautiful emotions."

It has been on my mind because of a revelatory concept from the main character: that Pennywise eats children because that's what children are told monsters do.

Pennywise is only real because the children believe in it. The clown is simply playing right into their own fears and capitalizing on them.

The belief in and recognition of the demonic clown bring it to life for the kids.

There was a similar thought in the 3-2-1 Newsletter:

"Attention is the oxygen of conflict. When you fight a problem, you breathe life into it. When you starve a problem of your attention, you suffocate it. In a surprising number of cases, the way to solve a problem is to ignore it."


"The Losers Club" from It would agree: paying attention to a problem, or a clown, makes it real. Avoidance and ignorance are, in some cases, the solution.

Avoidance is one of the five styles of conflict resolution. I'm learning to let go of being in control, and focusing on the things I can control; avoidance has been a helpful framework. It helps me spend less time on things that just might work themselves out anyway.

An important note: each method of conflict resolution has utility, depending on the nature of the conflict at hand.

It’s never easy to identify which problems to starve, but simply recognizing avoidance as a valid method of conflict resolution can help, because it is often forgotten or frowned upon. What scary clowns are you facing that would be solved by paying less attention to it?


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