It’s In Every One of Us to Be Wise

It’s in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It’s in every one of us
By and by
It’s in every one of us
To be wise
Find your heart
Open up both your eyes
We can all know everything
Without ever knowing why
It’s in every one of us
By and by
By and by
from It’s In Every One of Us by David Pomeranz
I should be going to sleep now, but I started watching Big Bird singing It’s Not Easy Being Green at Jim Henson’s funeral, which led me to the Muppet’s Tribute to Jim Henson, and then to Frank Oz’s lovely eulogy. In the second video, I heard a song I don’t remember, the one above, and it got me thinking (and yes, crying a little) about my heroes, and why they hold that position.
I love Jim Henson. He’s one of my heroes – a man of amazing creativity, warmth and love, who created so many great characters. More than that, though, he opened up imaginations by sharing his, and everything he created has at its core a gentleness, decency and humanity. You can tell right away that there’s a piece of him in everything he did. He died long after I’d outgrown Sesame Street (I was fifteen), but I still got choked up whenever anyone played Rainbow Connection (still do).
My second hero is Mr. Rogers. I used to watch both shows as a kid, but didn’t really understand who Mr. Rogers was as a “real” person until much much later. Mr. Rogers was seemingly without guile, someone totally in touch with their emotions and with the emotions of those around him – and like Jim Henson, the adjective that jumps to mind when I get past the things they created – the artifacts of their professional lives, is “gentle”. I love that Mr. Rogers dedicated his life to speaking softly to children without speaking down to them, to teaching them about the world without fear or cynicism. I told this to a friend today and she looked at me like I was crazy, but I think Mr. Rogers may be the most Christ-like person to live on the earth since, well, Jesus.
And last, but certainly not least, my dad. I certainly don’t tell him this enough, but he is my hero. He is the most patient person I’ve ever met, and set a great example of what a husband and father should be – one that I don’t measure up to, but aspire to. He is kind, and gentle. I think the only times I heard him raise his voice were either on the golf course or home repair “mishaps” with heavy tools, and they were never directed at us (the only reasons my brother and I ever went golfing with dad were: to hear him swear, and to drive the cart).
It all comes back to being gentle, something I’m not very good at, but want to be. All three of my heroes are good men: creative, smart, compassionate and charitable gentle men , who leave those around them better for having known them. They are who I aspire to be.
Thank you, dad, for being there when I need you. And thank you, Mr. Rogers and Jim Henson, for being examples of where imagination and decency can take you in a sometimes dark and always imperfect world.
And to get back to the song, it is in all of us to be wise. It’s in all of us to be better than we are, to aspire to being more like our heroes and to choose leaders more like we aspire to be instead of those that feed on our fears. I saw a sticker today Love More. Fear Less (you can get your own), which is what started this whole train of thought.
We, I, have been afraid too long – driven by fear to compromise our dreams, our futures and to choose leaders who feed those fears. It’s time to be led by love, to stop being afraid and embrace the future as a challenge to be better, to live our ideals instead of preaching them to others and doing the opposite behind closed doors when we think no one is looking. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of hearing politicians claim that the people who disagree with them aren’t “real” Americans. I’m tired of the pandering and the lies. Anger is fear turned outwards, a blind response to things we feel powerless to control, and anger is not love. I’m no hippie. I know I’ll still be angry when I wake up in the morning and catch a glimpse of the news, but I’m going to try to be wise. I’m going to try to love more and fear less, and I will keep my heroes that embody those qualities.
I don’t know that this makes any sense at all. It’s late, and I should have been asleep two hours ago, but I couldn’t go to bed with all this trapped in my head.
“It’s in every one of us to be wise. Find your heart, open up both your eyes.”