Pay Attention, Class. . .
The biggest fear of being
K I N D
is someone will
. . .funny,
T H A T
continues to be my
daily prayer. . .
BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE
Who Cares - What Matters
Pay Attention, Class. . .
The biggest fear of being
K I N D
is someone will
. . .funny,
T H A T
continues to be my
daily prayer. . .
BE KIND WHENEVER POSSIBLE. IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE
Have you ever lost your heart. . . ?
Loaded question, huh?
What makes it such a touch question
is just trying to figure out
is that a
L I T E R A L Question. . .
Ohhhhhhhh how you should know by
and all nearly some 800 Blog Posts later
that I’m a Sucker for the Sap Movies
and this one,
is maybe the sappiest of all
and it’s leaked a glue over me
that I can’t wash away
(and most likely don’t want to, anyway)
Nothing seems to go right for young Kate, a frustrated Londoner who works as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. But things soon take a turn for the better when she meets Tom — a handsome charmer who seems too good to be true. As the city transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, Tom and Kate’s growing attraction turns into the best gift of all — a Yuletide romance. . .
it made me think
IT MADE ME FEEL
the times I’ve lost my
h e a r t
Uhhhhhhh not so much
so much as
uh-ohh. . .
dare I write:
metaphysically. . .
and I guess I’m inviting you
you’ve actually lost your heart. . . ?
Can I help answer?
Are you the same you were
What changed from the time you were an infant
to the time you became a toddler
to the time you became a preschooler
to the time you were in elementary school
to the time you were in junior high
to the time you were graduating high school
to the times of different jobs
to the the times of continuing education
to the times of getting married
to the times of having children
N O W
. . .just how many,
HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU LOST YOUR HEART
and maybe better still. . .
Here’s to all of the times to come
and all the Seasons
the prompting of the question:
WHO AM I?
(MAY THE ANSWER CONTINUALLY BE DIFFERENT
as it has countless times before)
I know. . .
I know what you’re thinking
N O W
and every 25th of every month
when I proclaim
(usually with a Christmas scene)
MERRY PRACTICE CHRISTMAS
(usually with how many more days until Christmas)
which usually elicits this resounding response:
But wait. . .
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
wasn’t my idea
so much as me picking up the
and making sure it flies
U N F U R L I N G L Y
before you. . .
Werther, an 1892 French opera with libretto by Édouard Blau, Paul Milliet, and Georges Hartmann, had an English translation published in 1894 by Elizabeth Beall Ginty. In the story, a group of children rehearses a Christmas song in July, to which a character responds: “When you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season.” It is a translation of the French: “vous chantez Noël en juillet… c’est s’y prendre à l’avance.” This opera is based on Goethe‘s The Sorrows of Young Werther. Christmas features in the book, but July does not.
In 1935, the National Recreation Association’s journal Recreation described what a Christmas in July was like at a girl’s camp, writing that “all mystery and wonder surround this annual event.”
The term, if not the exact concept, was given national attention with the release of the Hollywood movie comedy Christmas in Julyin 1940, written and directed by Preston Sturges. In the story, a man is fooled into believing he has won $25,000 in an advertising slogan contest. He buys presents for family, friends, and neighbors, and proposes marriage to his girlfriend.
In 1942, the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. celebrated Christmas in July with carols and the sermon “Christmas Presents in July”. They repeated it in 1943, with a Christmas tree covered with donations. The pastor explained that the special service was patterned after a program held each summer at his former church in Philadelphia, when the congregation would present Christmas gifts early to give ample time for their distribution to missions worldwide. It became an annual event, and in 1945, the service began to be broadcast over local radio.
The U.S. Post Office and U.S. Army and Navy officials, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II. The luncheon was repeated in 1945.
American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950. In the United States, it is more often used as a marketing tool than an actual holiday. Television stations may choose to re-run Christmas specials, and many stores have Christmas in July sales. Some individuals choose to celebrate Christmas in July themselves, typically as an intentionally transparent excuse to have a party. This is in part because most bargainers tend to sell Christmas goods around July to make room for next year’s inventory. (from Wikipedia)
I KNOW. . .
TOO MUCH INFORMATION, Right. . . ?
It kind of puts the
B L A N K
B L I N K
But so too often
is not always
WE LIVE IN A SNOW GLOBE’D WORLD
often turned upside down
U N S E T T L E D
and just when we think we
GET THE MESSAGE
s i l e n t l y
“all is calm, all is bright. . .let heaven and nature sing,
JOY TO THE WORLD
So I don’t know what really
L I G H T S
your tree. . .
but whatever it is
make sure it stays lit in this dark world
and even better. . .
S H A R E D
IT LITERALLY GLARED AT ME. . .
The car with
THAT LICENSE PLATE
was right in front of me
at a Red Light
and reading it
BROKE MY HEART. . .
I wanted to honk long before the Light turned
to get the Driver’s attention
or just get out of the car
by pounding on the window
I just sat there
w o n d e r i n g
until the guy behind me
threw his arms up in the air
after honking because the Light had turned GREEN
and he saw my car wasn’t going as fast as my
m i n d
THERE’S A LOT
B R O K E N
and now the
and it’s not just
. . .it’s SHOUTING
that BROKEN-HEART SYNDROME
is very, very real. . .
During the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have found a significant increase in patients experiencing stress cardiomyopathy, also known as “broken heart syndrome,” which has symptoms similar to a heart attack, according to a new study from the clinic.
“Especially when it comes to the loss of a job and economic stressors, those are things that the COVID pandemic is affecting in many people,” said Dr. Grant Reed. “So it’s not just the virus itself that’s causing illness in patients.”
Heartbreak is a common thread in movies, pop culture, and music but Cleveland Clinic cardiologists are warning patients about the serious effects of a broken heart and the possible connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“No one really expected to be in this situation and the pandemic has put dramatic, unprecedented stressors on our life,” Reed said. “These are patients that are coming in presenting very similar to how patients come in with a heart attack. They have EKG changes consistent with a heart attack and they have chest discomfort.”
Researchers said stress cardiomyopathy happens in response to physical or emotional stress, which causes dysfunction or failure in the heart muscle.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about multiple levels of stress in people’s lives across the country and world. People are not only worried about themselves or their families becoming ill, they are dealing with economic and emotional issues, societal problems and potential loneliness and isolation,” said Ankur Kalra, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic cardiologist in the Sections of Invasive and Interventional Cardiology and Regional Cardiovascular Medicine, who led the study.
Patients with this condition have experienced symptoms similar to a heart attack, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, but usually don’t have acutely blocked coronary arteries.
“The stress can have physical effects on our bodies and our hearts, as evidenced by the increasing diagnoses of stress cardiomyopathy we are experiencing,” said Kalra.
Patients can also experience irregular heartbeat, fainting, low blood pressure and cardiogenic shock, which happens when the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s demand due to stress hormones.
Researchers have admitted the causes of stress cardiomyopathy are not fully understood.
Between March 1 and April 30, cardiologists looked at 258 patients with heart symptoms coming into Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Researchers compared them with four control groups and found a “significant increase” in patients diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, reaching 7.8% compared with pre-pandemic incidence of 1.7%, the release states.
All patients diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy tested negative for COVID-19. Those with the condition since the COVID-19 outbreak had a longer hospital stay compared to those pre-pandemic. Doctors said patients with stress cardiomyopathy patients generally recover in a matter of days or weeks, although the condition can occasionally cause major adverse cardiac and cerebrovascular events.
“For those who feel overwhelmed by stress, it’s important to reach out to your healthcare provider. Exercise, meditation and connecting with family and friends, while maintaining physical distance and safety measures, can also help relieve anxiety,” said Grant Reed, director of Cleveland Clinic’s STEMI program and senior author for the study.
Reed said a number of factors can cause heart function to deteriorate, which include loneliness, financial stress, or overwhelming feelings of uncertainty brought on by stay-at-home orders.
“You have to recognize when you need to seek help and say, ‘Okay I need to take a step back.’ Maybe disconnect from social media and not read so much because that can stress us all out,” Reed said.
Researchers noted that additional research is needed in this area, especially if this trend in cases is present in other regions of the country. . .
But it still begs the legitimate, honest, lopsided
Q U E S T I O N
WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT. . .
WHAT’S THE CURE. . .
Could it be as simple
as readily accessible
literally at the end of our arms
Maybe it’s time to battle the urge
that took me to task
afternoon at the Red Light
. . .Maybe a little more
W A N D E R I N G
(toward the Brokenness)
w o n d e r i n g
(away with my idling ‘what if’ing’ daydream)
Maybe a little more
and a lot less of
It just may be the kind of vaccine that’s needed to eradicate
A BROKEN HEART
(A REAL THING)
and it can come
from none other than
A Compassionate Caring
Y O U
(A REAL THING)
M U S I C
at it’s best will do much more than just
make your foot tap
or your head, bob. . .
it’ll literally make your
H E A R T B E A T
d i f f e r e n t l y
. . .and not just for a while–
for an e v e r. . .
I love the simpleness and yet significances of JJ Heller’s music
For years J J’s timeless love song,
“THE BOAT SONG”
has been played at weddings and funerals in slideshows.
I loved this quirky, homemade video featuring
many pairs of found objects to match her lyrics
but like most songs I’m not so sure we get the
message in the message:
WE BELONG TOGETHER
It’s not just about finding the love of your life
It’s not just about being silly and funny for someone
It’s not just about love and truly
BEING IN IT
. . .Oh it is about relationships. . .
BELONGING. . .
B E L O N G I N G
I love the quote from Mother Teresa
(now Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
where she said the biggest threat to us and our world was that people don’t feel as though they BELONG. . .
“IF WE HAVE NO PEACE,” she said, “IT IS BECAUSE WE HAVE FORGOTTEN THAT WE BELONG TO EACH OTHER.”
We’ve all felt it before, haven’t we:
DO I BELONG
WHERE DO I BELONG ?
It hits us at our heart level
It’s more real than typed or spoken word
It’s more desperate than our next breath or heartbeat. . .
B E L O N G I N G
We want to
o f t e n
again and again
for an ever. . .
and here’s the best part:
WE HAVE THE POWER
to not only include others
but to actually make them feel
Each of us gets to decide whether we want to name-call, gaslight, sow fear or whether we really want to elevate, empower, life others up
I N C L U D E
Let our Caring Catalyst Message be:
YOU ARE WELCOME
We are all vulnerable
We are all human
WE ALL BELONG TOGETHER. . .
See. . .
I told you it was more than just a love song
. . .this is a pure
A HUMAN UNIFER
(and none too soon)
. . .put the
P E P
S T E P
W I S H L E S S N E S S
is a Buddhist term
that kind of means
Y O U
don’t have to have something in front of you
to run after
IT’S ALEADY HERE
. . .Just walk your Path
Which took me down the tracks
The Carrot doesn’t need to be dangled
The Road doesn’t need to be traveled
The Gold doesn’t need to be mined
The Silver doesn’t need to be refined
The Prize doesn’t need to be won
The Treasure doesn’t need to be unearthed
Enter into the rarely journeyed
newly undiscovered World of
to experience the uncharted
n o w
and find it’s not just an Everything
but an ALL
that needs no
r u n
t h a t
DO YOU. . .
to Listen. . . ?
Maybe what the world needs more of
an abundance of Loving Hearts
HEARING EARS. . .
Well, EDWARD LEMPINEN, a journalist shares with us THAT KIND of
H O P E
Our nation is locked in a state of polarization unprecedented in the past half-century, with deep, volatile divisions around issues of politics, race, religion, and the environment and yes, COVID-19. These issues can and have split families, break friendships, and create enormous stress in communities—and yet, having a constructive discussion about the disagreements often seems impossible and HEARING, well, no pun intended, IT IS UNHEARD OF. . .
If you’re trying to persuade someone on the other side of that chasm, UC Berkeley political scientist David Broockman says that, chances are, you’re going about it the wrong way. In a series of studies over the past five years, he has found insights that contradict much of what we think we know about engaging those who disagree with us.
When it comes to changing someone’s feelings about issues, he says, data are less compelling than human stories. Listening is more powerful than just talking. Accepting the other person, even if their ideas feel offensive, may open the door to constructive dialogue.
“It’s really hard to change people’s minds,” Broockman said in a recent interview. “When we talk about persuasion, we talk so much about how to make the most effective arguments, the most effective talking points. But we don’t talk so much about how to be a good listener, or about how to make people comfortable in talking to you and hearing from you.”
The ideas are counterintuitive. But the studies done by Broockman and Joshua Kalla, a former Berkeley Ph.D. student now on the faculty at Yale University, are backed by data collected in extensive fieldwork, and they’ve won attention for bringing new understanding to the art and science of political persuasion, where traditional tools don’t seem to work.
Their key work has focused on transgender rights and on immigration, two flashpoints in the nation’s culture wars, and they could be valuable across a range of our most rancorous debates, from racial justice to climate change and the November election. While their findings are not a cure-all—far from it, Broockman says—they could offer a path to reduced tension and improved dialogue for a sorely divided nation.
In some senses, the idea is not far from the “how to win friends” nostrums of Dale Carnegie in the mid 20th century, or from some schools of modern psychotherapy. But Broockman’s work rose from his experience as a young gay man growing up in Texas.
During his high school years, he attended a mock state government program with other students, many of them conservative, and found a climate of what he called “super-rampant homophobia.” In the same period, Texas voters approved a ban on same-sex marriage.
“I was a white, upper-middle-class kid who could have had every privilege in the world,” he recalled. “And then, all of a sudden, I realized there’s this big asterisk on that. It’s of course not the same as if I were a person of color, but it did give me insight into what it’s like to be on the wrong end of an important power relationship.”
From that experience rose his interest in political engagement—and in trying to understand people’s attitudes.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in 2011, and his Ph.D. from Berkeley in 2015. After four years on the faculty at Stanford University, he returned to Berkeley this year as an associate professor. And while he has published widely on government, elections, and discrimination, persuasion has been a central focus.
Political campaigns are, of course, exercises in shaping opinion, and billions of dollars are spent on that goal. But a 2018 study by Broockman and Kalla shows that such campaigns are often an exercise in futility. After reviewing 49 published studies on political opinion and persuasion, they came to a stark conclusion: “The best estimate of the effects of campaign contact and advertising on Americans’ candidate choices in general elections is zero.”
In other words, persuasion by conventional means in most partisan political campaigns is very rare.
But studies published in 2016 and earlier this year show Broockman and Kalla exploring unconventional means, and it’s here that they broke new ground.
In a polarized climate, on issues of existential importance, it can be difficult even to hear opinions that contradict our own—on issues such as same-sex marriage, for example, or climate change, or Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump. It seems offensive that someone doesn’t see the world as we do, and there’s a tendency to correct them, to tell them they’re not just wrong, but deplorable.
Expressing such frustration may provide emotional relief, but it’s not likely to persuade. In fact, it can make people harden their existing views.
For a 2016 study published in Science, Broockman and Kalla worked with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and SAVE, a South Florida LGBT organization, on a field assessment of voter attitudes toward a new Miami-area law protecting transgender people. One group of door-to-door canvassers, a control group, said nothing to residents about transphobia.
But another group engaged in “deep canvassing,” a process based on asking sensitive questions, listening to the answers with sincere interest, and then asking more questions. If residents expressed bias toward transgender people, the canvasser might ask them to recall a time when they were treated unfairly for being different and what that felt like.
The outcome? “These conversations substantially reduced transphobia, with decreases greater than Americans’ average decrease in homophobia from 1998 to 2012,” the research found. In effect, about 10% of the deep canvassing respondents shifted toward a more sympathetic view of transgender rights, with effects lasting for at least three months.
A second study, published this year, confirmed the 2016 research on transgender rights and showed that this two-way exchange was key to a conversation’s effectiveness. The study also added additional fieldwork on undocumented immigrants—and, again, the deep canvassing had a substantial effect, even though it was conducted during the heat of the 2018 U.S. Congressional election.
Among residents who were not asked about immigration, 29% supported pro-immigrant policies. But for those who were engaged in the reflection and storytelling of deep canvassing, the number rose to 33%; respondents were far more likely to say, for example, that undocumented immigrants should receive legal support and should not have to live in fear of deportation. Again, the impact was durable, lasting three months or more.
“I think, in today’s world, many communities have a call-out culture,” Broockman told Vox. “Twitter is obviously full of the notion that what we should do is condemn those who disagree with us. What we can now say, experimentally, (is that) the key to the success of these conversations is doing the exact opposite of that.”
Why does deep canvassing work? Broockman offered a possible explanation.
Political and cultural opinions, including biases, are so deeply ingrained that they are part of our core identities. People almost universally want to do the right thing, and they want to be associated with groups that do the right thing. When that rightness is challenged, it’s a threat to their core identity.
“People don’t like to be told they’re wrong,” he explained. “So when people hear something that contrasts with their self-image, they immediately start generating counterarguments.”
Deep canvassing short-circuits that dynamic. Instead of presenting facts and data, or value judgments, he said, “you ask questions, dig in, make it a kind of collaborative dialogue where you’re genuinely open-minded. And then you might find that the other person is more able to be open-minded.”
That’s where sharing stories becomes important. “People want to listen to stories,” Broockman continued. “They kind of suspend their disbelief. They say, ‘Alright, I’m hearing a story, I want to get into it. I’m not going to treat this like an argument where I need to counterpunch. This is just someone sharing their authentic experience with me. And then, I’m going to kind of reach my own conclusions.’”
Because bias toward LGBTQ people or other groups can be deeply rooted in identity, this more compassionate approach to persuasion reduces the sense of threat. “Actually changing attitudes is going to require an approach that’s not just based on statistics or arguments,” Broockman said, “but on stories that humanize those groups.”
Even with deep canvassing, shifting opinions is difficult. Race-based prejudice is freighted with a long, shameful history, and Broockman predicts that will be especially resistant to change.
Still, he’s hopeful. In his research on immigration, deep canvassing produced a gain of four percentage points—that’s not much, but in a close election, four points can turn defeat to victory. He also sees possible applications for this approach across a range of issues and elections.
Broockman made another observation about conducting the research—one that was informal, but essential: Deep canvassing also opened canvassers’ minds to substantive conversations about difficult issues with those who disagreed with them. Just as the vast majority of voters willingly had such conversations, canvassers trained in the technique were eager to keep having them, too.
That appetite on both sides can create the conditions for change. And it suggests that individuals, too, can use principles of deep canvassing to engage with family and friends trying to build a bridge across the divide.
“We live in an age of righteous indignation toward those who disagree with us,” Broockman said. “It’s on all sides, in so many current social debates. . . . But a lot of that can get tempered when you actually meet and engage with the people who disagree with you. It’s work, and it can be difficult. But what we gain from that, in addition to advocating for our causes, is realizing that we might have more in common than we think.”
Can it be this simple:
L I S T E N I N G
And that a
S P E L L
that needs cast upon us
A L L
r e a c h
for the hands
c l a s p i n g
This past Fourth of July weekend, I read an article from the New York Times that tell us, Acts of kindness may not be that random after all. Science says being kind pays off. . .
And my first thought was,
“SERIOUSLY, DO WE NEED THIS RESEARCHED OUT TO FIND OUT IF IT’S TRUE; THAT IT’S REAL. . . ?”
Research shows that acts of kindness make us feel better and healthier. Kindness is also key to how we evolved and survived as a species, scientists say. We are hard-wired to be kind.
Kindness “is as bred in our bones as our anger or our lust or our grief or as our desire for revenge,” said University of California San Diego psychologist Michael McCullough, author of the forthcoming book “Kindness of Strangers.” It’s also, he said, “the main feature we take for granted.”
Scientific research is booming into human kindness and what scientists have found so far speaks well of us; especially during this pandemic time.
“Kindness is much older than religion. It does seem to be universal,” said University of Oxford anthropologist Oliver Curry, research director at Kindlab. “The basic reason why people are kind is that we are social animals.”
We prize kindness over any other value. When psychologists lumped values into ten categories and asked people what was more important, benevolence or kindness, comes out on top, beating hedonism, having an exciting life, creativity, ambition, tradition, security, obedience, seeking social justice and seeking power, said University of London psychologist Anat Bardi, who studies value systems.
“We’re kind because under the right circumstances we all benefit from kindness,” Oxford’s Curry said.
When it comes to a species’ survival “kindness pays, friendliness pays,” said Duke University evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare, author of the new book “Survival of the Friendliest.”
Kindness and cooperation work for many species, whether it’s bacteria, flowers or our fellow primate bonobos. The more friends you have, the more individuals you help, the more successful you are, Hare said.
For example, Hare, who studies bonobos and other primates, compares aggressive chimpanzees, which attack outsiders, to bonobos where the animals don’t kill but help out strangers. Male bonobos are far more successful at mating than their male chimp counterparts, Hare said.
McCullough sees bonobos as more the exceptions. Most animals aren’t kind or helpful to strangers, just close relatives so in that way it is one of the traits that separate us from other species, he said. And that, he said, is because of the human ability to reason.
Humans realize that there’s not much difference between our close relatives and strangers and that someday strangers can help us if we are kind to them, McCullough said.
Reasoning “is the secret ingredient, which is why we donate blood when there are disasters” and why most industrialized nations spend at least 20% of their money on social programs, such as housing and education, McCullough said.
Duke’s Hare also points to mama bears to understand the evolution and biology of kindness and its aggressive nasty flip side. He said studies point to certain areas of the brain, the medial prefrontal cortex, temporal parietal junction and other spots as either activated or dampened by emotional activity. The same places give us the ability to nurture and love, but also dehumanize and exclude, he said.
When mother bears are feeding and nurturing their cubs, these areas in the brain are activated and it allows them to be generous and loving, Hare said. But if someone comes near the mother bear at that time, it sets of the brain’s threat mechanisms in the same places. The same bear becomes its most aggressive and dangerous.
Hare said he sees this in humans. Some of the same people who are generous to family and close friends, when they feel threatened by outsiders become angrier. He points to the current polarization of the world.
“More isolated groups are more likely to be feel threatened by others and they are more likely to morally exclude, dehumanize,” Hare said. “And that opens the door to cruelty.”
But overall our bodies aren’t just programmed to be nice, they reward us for being kind, scientists said.
“Doing kindness makes you happier and being happier makes you do kind acts,” said labor economist Richard Layard, who studies happiness at the London School of Economics and wrote the new book “Can We Be Happier?”
University of California Riverside psychology professor Sonja Lyubomirsky has put that concept to the test in numerous experiments over 20 years and repeatedly found that people feel better when they are kind to others, even more than when they are kind to themselves.
“Acts of kindness are very powerful,” Lyubomirsky said.
In one experiment, she asked subjects to do an extra three acts of kindness for other people a week and asked a different group to do three acts of self-kindness. They could be small, like opening a door for someone, or big. But the people who were kind to others became happier and felt more connected to the world.
The same occurred with money, using it to help others versus helping yourself. Lyubomirsky said she thinks it is because people spend too much time thinking and worrying about themselves and when they think of others while doing acts of kindness, it redirects them away from their own problems.
Oxford’s Curry analyzed peer-reviewed research like Lyubomirsky’s and found at least 27 studies showing the same thing: Being kind makes people feel better emotionally.
But it’s not just emotional. It’s physical.
Lyubomirsky said a study of people with multiple sclerosis and found they felt better physically when helping others. She also found that in people doing more acts of kindness that the genes that trigger inflammation were turned down more than in people who don’t.
And she said in upcoming studies, she’s found more antiviral genes in people who performed acts of kindness.
What is it about this song that it touches the heart of so many of us? How did this song become such a classic moment in Muppet history?
It all started in 1978 when Jim Henson was searching for a composer to write the music to The Muppet Movie. Since being a good friend of Jim’s since his appearance on The Muppet Show, the young Paul Williams got the job. “Rainbow Connection” was written to be the song to the Muppets as “When You Wish Upon A Star” had been to Walt Disney. In many ways, “Rainbow Connection” is also very similar to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from Jim Henson’s favorite film, The Wizard of Oz (1939), which was “an opening establishment driving urge for something more.”
Rainbow Connection was the first Oscar nomination for the Muppets, at the 52nd Academy Awards. Sadly, the song lost to “It Goes Like It Goes” from Norma Rae. While the Muppets would gain various other nominations throughout the years, it would be another 32 years until the Muppets would win an Oscar for best song (“Man Or Muppet” in 2012).
The song has had over 30 covers by noted singers including Sarah McLachan, Judy Collins, the Carpenters, Weezer, Willie Nelson, Jim Brickman, Jason Mraz, and many others. It was also performed by the Muppets themselves in The Muppets at Walt Disney World, The Muppets, The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years, and many more.
For many, the song is truly about finding yourself and following your dreams. This is the beginning for most Muppet fans, and where it all started. It’s where Kermit decides to leave the swamp and make millions of people happy, and the rest is history. Another reason might just be that Muppet fans know that they now have an entire screening of The Muppet Movie ahead of them.
This song gives the same message as Disney’s Pinocchio gave, which is really in essence, to believe in yourself, and follow your dreams. It sounds a little cheesy when I explain it like that, but that’s how I feel about it personally.
At the end of the film, when Kermit builds his family of all his friends who believe in him and share his dream (after the set gets blown to pieces), a rainbow shines through the hole in the ceiling, showing that Kermit had finally found his “Rainbow Connection” and is exactly where he wanted to be.
S T I L L
. . .the real question especially during our COVID-19
hazy, crazy Fog
isn’t so much
WHEN WILL THE SUN SHINE
so much as:
What message do you think
The Rainbow Connection
is giving off
FOR YOU. . .
and maybe even more:
IS IT SHAREABLE
even the best Words
need not to be spoken or sung
but still understood
just the same. . .
P L E A S E
not to hear
not to reply
but to actively respond. . .
a n d
p l e a s e