Is it odd to love The Muppets more than the average bear?
While it’s true, my family thinks there’s something seriously wrong with me when I express overt enthusiasm for this peculiar gang of characters, I can’t help the goofiness they bring out in me. And I’m flat out gaga over the return of The Muppet Show on TV. But more than their whimsical antics that string along my amusement, The Muppets have meted out some good horse sense.
Here’s what The Muppets taught me:
1. Stay playful
The Muppets peddle humor for children AND adults. Stress has no audience when I allow the child in me to be her goofy self. Any weight on my shoulders disappears at the arrival of laughter and silliness. The Muppet gang are agents of de-stress! Laughter is the best medicine. Stay merry my friends. Engage in laughter!
2. Use encouraging words
Kermit, the philosophical frog and ringleader, is not your typical skipper. He cares so deeply for his buddies that he thinks of ways to be helpful and encouraging, especially if any one of them are in a jam. He’s the wise guru for a gang of seriously off-beat oddballs. He believes in the genuine goodness of the world. And that reminds me that I do, too. His consistent quest keeps me more aware that people need encouragement and compassion. And, being different is a rare and good thing.
3. Rock out
Music makes my soul want to dance. It’s a power that lifts my spirit. It moves me. And who can go wrong with Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem? A band stuck in the 60’s. Me, too! When it comes to tickling the ivories, Rowlf the Dog plays piano like my good friend David Longo. He also has a pretty good singing voice. Rowlf, not David. But nothing beats Kermit sitting on a log in a swamp, playing the banjo and singing The Rainbow Connection, for lovers, and dreamers, and me. La da da di da da dum da duh da da dum di da ohhh!
4. It’s okay to suck as a cook
I’ve poured over most of the gibberish cooking advice from the Swedish Chef. Now here’s a chef I can relate to! I’m relieved that food and utensils flying through the air is common practice in the kitchen. And thank goodness jogging back and forth along the counter is normal cooking behavior. To make a word salad, you simply talk to yourself or hum a nonsensical song. The Swedish Chef is my mentor! Bork! Bork! Bork!
5. Spread love. Pay it forward.
It’s impossible to look at a Muppet and not feel some goodness in life. Jim Henson created The Muppets in 1955 with a visionary passion. When he died in 1990, Disney eventually bought the rights to The Muppets in 2004. I’m thankful for the love, morals, humor, and hope Henson played out with all his created characters. All the qualities of a well-played life, human and otherwise.
In 2006, Kermit the Frog was credited as the author of the self-help guide “Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons” — an “autobiography” written from the perspective of the Muppet himself.
Some of life’s greatest lessons… That’s what The Muppets taught me.