Friday, March 2, 2012

To Dream the Impossible Dream: Elmo and Windmills

I was watching the documentary about Kevin Clash, "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" while burrito-loading (a common activity for Friday night around here- making breakfast burritos for ski days).  I was struck by Kevin's pure, unstoppable essence (or so it seems) of innocence, love of his craft and passion..  This man endured ridicule in High School because of his love of puppets.  High School.  The most brutal testing ground of all social interaction, and he brought puppetry.  But he kept his dream and made it grow.  Clash went from regular lower/middle class kid to "most likely to become a millionaire" because he followed his dream regardless of the consequences.  The high school yearbook was wrong though.  He's probably worth several million by now.  He did this at the risk of his own personal relationships, which he fully addresses in the story, and his telling of it only reinforces my opinion of the guy. 

How can we become such impassioned champions of our own dreams and visions?  I've never been a big Elmo fan, but I can't help admiring the guy.  Children LOVE Elmo.  Wanna know why?  Because Clash created Elmo to emanate affection.  When he was creating a new persona for the Elmo puppet he did so with a particular action: affection.  Where did he get the idea?  From his parents.  He realized that it was something that wasn't really being done on Sesame Street at the time.  He was the first Muppet to be requested as a Make-a-Wish wish.  That scene seriously made me cry.  This great little documentary reinforces my entire universe: 
  1. Show my children affection.  
  2. Be authentic.  
  3. Lead with Love.
And tell them to always follow their dreams.  But try to say it without the cheesy-PBS-overtones.   Now I'm going to watch some Bones.  Because brainless brainy-drama is my usual favorite brain candy. 

No comments: