April Fools Day


to those hurt it’s
no laughing matter-
april fools day

I have never enjoyed April Fools Day. As a child I felt bad for those who were pranked and I also felt a distrust of those who pranked, and it could be anyone, during this day.

While it is suppose to be “in good fun” it generally ends up being a free day for bullying. Along with bullying there is also the possibility of the prank going to far and cause physical harm or property damage.
I recently learned that if your house is damaged as part of pranking AND you were also participating then your insurance will likely not cover the repairs. Furthermore, IF someone is hurt on your property they can sue you!

As a Buddhist this day also does not sit well with me. “Fooling” someone is tantamount to lying and goes against the principles of the “Eightfold Path.” If you are lying you are obviously not practicing “Right Speech” and if your actions cause harm, damage (even mental) then you are not practicing “Right Action.”

Enough preaching now back to the haiku.

18 responses »

  1. Oh I totally agree with this! I have never been a fan of April Fools Day. I don’t like the thought of people laughing at other peoples’ expense. You have put it so eloquently.

  2. The first time I learned about April Fool’s Day I was about 8 and when I got up my dad starting ranting about the crayon drawing I had made on the living room wall. Of course there was no drawing but eventually I was in hysterics and my mother had to make him stop — needless to say I’ve never ever wanted to “celebrate” the day. I do however occasionally hear of someone who thinks up something genuinely funny to do that leaves everyone laughing…

  3. i never looked at april 1 in that view. i usually don’t even notice april fools day. although i do remember and can relate to your story when i was in elementary school

  4. I 100% agree, FierceBuddhist… it always seems that any prank, “practical” joke, “punking” incident, even the old favorite Candid Camera were cruel and generally mean spirited. Just so the pranksters could laugh at the discomfort of the prankees.
    I can think of no reason to be unkind, no matter the reward!


  5. I’ve always felt this way too, Fierce Buddhist. Besides the “innocent” lying that accompanies pranks and such, they’re often cruel and sadistic. It’s nice to find others who agree with me.

  6. I wonder if “The Emperor’s New Clothes” was an April Fool’s Day joke. It seems to do well in fiction. In diplomacy, there seem to be constant verbal pranks. If diplomats were totally honest could there ever be a peace treaty except by defeat? Sometimes both sides declare they have “won” and both sides stop fighting although everything stated is a lie.

  7. Well this made me think! Hmm, but did the Buddha never laugh? Did he never crack a satirical joke? Certainly he’s always depicted smiling. Of course its a gentle smile. some humour can be gentle, whimsical even but yes much i guess is cruel.
    Still, maybe its a harmless outlet for our innate aggression. A way of defusing conflict? Humour is often also an expression of the culturally taboo. “forbidden” subjects that can only approached thru humour. And all tyrants fear satire .(I think the Simpsons get away with lots coz they’re “just” a cartoon.)
    In my house the person who carries out the most successful practical joke on April Fools Day gets to be acclaimed “King of Fun” and gets to wear the coveted traditional Fools Cap. My daughter is the current holder but Im always happy to play the Fool and anyway I’ll get her back next year.
    Its all in good fun.

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