Today is Big Bird's birthday and he is turning 6 years old, again!
Since I was an 80s infant I was enthralled by Sesame Street. As young as 6 months old my parents would put me in front of the TV and as soon that old familiar theme song started my eyes would glue to the set and would not peel away until the end credits. My favourite character was in fact Big Bird. Still as an adult with my own three children, that big tall bright yellow bird, with his childlike innocence and a giant heart of gold has taught me so much about life.
1. It's OK to make mistakes
2. Ask questions and be eager to learn
Big Bird probably asks the most questions than any other character on Sesame Street. He reminds me of that toddler who repeatedly asks "Why? Why? Why?”. Kids have no fear of asking questions, of admitting that they don't have the answers, and of potentially becoming annoying! Asking questions is key to gaining knowledge.
3. Depend on others
4. Don't lose your ability to use your imagination
For many years on the show Big Bird's best friend Snuffleupagus (Snuffy) was his imaginary best friend and the representation of all children's imaginations. In the mid 1980's after Snuffy was revealed as real to the grown ups, Big Bird still had a wonderful and active imagination. As a parent, I am amazed at the creativity of my kids' imaginations. I love watching them play and interact, and I marvel at how they view the world. It has helped me shake off some jaded skepticism and to live imaginatively again.
5. It's OK to feel BIG emotions
They also had episodes focused on many issues such as bullying, Maria's pregnancy, September 11th and Hurricane Katrina. No matter what the emotion: fear, anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, or joy, Sesame Street talks about it and breaks it down for kids (and grown ups) to understand and know that it's okay to express your feelings.
6. Be inclusive and accept others
It's amazing that one show that has been on the air for almost 50 years and has shaped so many children and adults. Now broadcast in over 140 countries, Big Bird has made an unforgettable and meaningful impact on the lives of millions (maybe even billions) and has taught us all so much. On behalf of the world, today I say a great big thank you and Happy Birthday to you Big Bird!
On behalf of the world, today I say a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you dearest Big Bird!