Those who really (and I mean really) know me, know I was a huge fan of the Muppet Babies. Growing up the extreme youngest of three, by 8 years, I spent a lot of time entertaining myself. I didn’t have the constant companionship of a slightly older sibling, nor were there a host of kids to play with in my neighborhood. So when none of my friends could come over, or I was stuck inside, I would watch hours and hours of Muppet Babies episodes. Here are 5 things I inadvertently learned from them:
1. It’s okay to like what you like.
To this very day, my brother teases me because I was a fan of this show. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed G.I. Joe, Thundercats, and Masters of the Universe (ie HE-MAN). However, Muppet Babies was in my constant rotation. I told you before that I would watch hours of tapes; well, these were episodes I recorded myself on VHS.
While it may have seemed weird to my brother, it is definitely okay to like what you like. Even on the show, Gonzo was a self-proclaimed “Weirdo”, and that was just fine. Besides, there is something “weird” about everyone.
2. Use your imagination.
The whole premise of the show hinges on one line in the theme song: “When your room looks kinda weird and you wish that you weren’t there; just close your eyes and make-believe, and you can be anywhere.”
Every episode was chocked full of imaginative expression. It inspired me to think outside the box and try different things. All of us, at one time, had vivid imaginations full of unnamed colors, sites, and adventures; but life, like at the end of every show, brought us back to reality. Perhaps, if we never lose that imaginative spirit, we could find, see, or create more than we ever thought. They were never confined to their room of Nanny’s house, but their imaginations kept them free.
3. We don’t have to be the same to be together.
Kermit is a frog. Fozzy is a bear. Ralph is a dog. No-one seems to know what kind of creatures, Skeeter, Scooter, Gonzo, and Animal were, but everyone knows Piggy. And don’t even start on Beaker and Bunsen! Not one of these characters were alike (with the exception of the twins, Skeeter and Scooter). Being the same was never an issue.
In our lives, we tend to gravitate to people who are just like ourselves. Like it’s been said, “birds of a feather flock together.” But there is actually power in diversity. When you have people in your life from differing backgrounds, cultures, socio-economic statues, and so forth, you open yourself to the wealth of their knowledge and experiences. This simple truth will take you further than you realize.
4. I don’t have to see who is watching over me.
We never get to see Nanny’s face; all we see are her funky socks. However, we do hear her voice. While we are never sure, we can safely assume that Nanny owned the house; and it is certainly clear that she is the one watching over the babies. Her voice is full of wisdom and even authority. So they listen to her and respond to her word, though her face is never seen.
With God, though it is clear that this is His world, and we are certain He is in charge, and He definitely knows what’s best, and He is surely watching over us, we still fail to trust Him. Do we gravitate to other things because we can’t see His face? Well, let me encourage you, to heed His voice anyway. You don’t have to see Him to watch Him work.
5. When in doubt, sing it out.
In every episode, those babies would sing songs reinforcing the lessons they learned. I’ll admit, many were corny, but it did emphasize the power of music and the connection between singing and learning. There are dozens of songs that I remember from my childhood, that still bring me joy today. Many of us have gotten through the toughest times in our lives, because music made it better somehow.
Whenever life is too overwhelming, there is a song that can get you through. There is a song that can help you remember what you forgot. There is a song that can calm you and put you back in a happy place. There is a song that can turn your frown into an instant smile. So when in doubt, sing it out.
© 2015 Team Murph Publishing/DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved
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*The Muppet Babies images and characters are the property of The Walt Disney Co. and Jim Henson Productions.