Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Oh Andy!

While watching Andy Griffith show, I found myself tearing up… Really? Me? Tearing up over Andy Griffith? WHAT? I've been watching this show for years, and never had this problem. I’m not a big waterworks person, so I sat up and took notice. After a few minutes of reflection, it hit me. The reason for the siffly tiny tear, and here it is.

On this simple show, there are so many lessons… Corny though they may be at times. Very important lessons about how to treat each other, and how to move in the world. In this particular episode, Aunt B was chosen by default to be the leading lady in the big production at the Annual Mayberry Pageant.

The primary leading lady got called away and was unable to perform. (As the episode continues, you realize that the primary is someone who has played this particular role in the play before) So moving along, Aunt B steps in and is practicing her heart out to get ready for her big debut. Try as she might, she was having so much trouble just remembering the lines, that her acting took a back seat. The director was unhappy with her performances and decided she must be replaced. Of course he approaches Andy first and it is decided that the news would be better to come from Andy than the director. Turns out, that Aunt B is so excited and dedicated to this project that Andy could not tell her…. In the meanwhile, the primary actress returns to town. Andy gets the idea to ask her to come over and help with the cooking and house chores. (hmmmm... there seems to be more up his sleeve...but what?) Well, when she arrives, the primary actress (can’t remember her name) is all too happy to cook meals and even apple pie every night till the pageant is finished. At some point she recites a portion of the speech that Aunt B has to make and has been having trouble with. She does it with great feeling and remembered all of the words, no problem. Needless to say, Aunt B has an “aha!” moment and decides that this woman is really the best choice for the role… and it was obvious that Aunt B realized how important she is to Andy and Opey, and gladly hands back the role to the other woman, then happily leads Opey into the kitchen to help make the apple pie.

The important part of this story and all of the others on this show, is that instead of just checking their problems off the list, by choosing the most logical, easiest or obvious solution, (Just tell the woman she can’t act!) the characters creatively solve their problems. Usually the problem solver turns out to be Andy, the town sheriff and amateur psychologist, but not always. He considers all the parties involved with the problem and comes up with a way to create a situation in which the person with the problem, is given the opportunity to discover the solution for themselves. No lecturing, very few hurt feelings while helping those around him to grow, and become more independent. His whacky antics and methods empower the other characters rather than squashing their self esteem. (Which as we know “toughens us up good”, but creates a whole other set of problems) Many times the characters with the “problem” rarely see Andy’s guiding involvement, but it’s clear that they feel it. It’s an artful way of showing love and simply allowing nature to unfold. It also shows the depth of his caring in a way that doesn’t need words. His actions speak loudly and it’s obvious that every person in this show is important and their thoughts, feelings and growth matter. wow.

Ok, yea, it’s a show and of course all the crazy antics seem to always work out in the end… not something that is guaranteed to happen in real life, and is greatly oversimplified to fit the 30 minute time slot. The point is that everywhere you look now, people are in a big hurry to “get er done”, and many times we do not allow time for creative reflection when solving our problems. We don’t give it our undivided attention. We obsess about it in between other things on our list and take the easiest way out because we can't stand the stress. I recently read something in a book about how to keep ourselves in mindfulness. What the author suggested was to treat every action as sacred. If you are bathing, bath yourself as you would the baby Jesus or Buddha. And when you interact with others, treat them as though they were the Jesus or Buddha. I think this is why this show got to me. Andy actually lives that way, even though he is not some great philosopher or guru. He is just a regular guy, doing what he does with great love and grace. Simple.


Ms. Moon said...

I think the Andy Griffith show may have been the best sitcom EVER. I know it was the best set in the south.
I don't remember that episode, but it would have made me cry, too.

Zengoof said...

I never thought of the Andy Griffith that way, but as I read your post, I found myself thinking, "by golly, this gal is right." Cool. Thanks for the insight. Everybody and everything as Buddha -- I like it!

Petit fleur said...

Ms Moon,

Yes. Good ole Andy! We never missed an episode, although I don't remember them all.


Gal? OMG! You are the corniest! But thank you for stickin with me and for you Zengoofy comments.
xo PF