A Year of Creating Dangerously, Day 224: Saturday Life Quotes – Jim Henson


“The most sophisticated people I know – inside they are all children.”

Jim Henson (1936-1990) was a childhood hero of mine. I grew up with Sesame Street and the Muppet Show, quite literally as I was 3 years old when the Street premiered on PBS in 1969 and it became an integral part of my growing up. At a tender 11 years old I was living with my family in Edinburgh, Scotland when the Muppet Show became a phenomenon in the United Kingdom, long before audiences in the U.S. got to enjoy it. My family and I never missed an episode as it aired on ITV in Britain. To me, Henson was an absolute genius and from what I knew of him as a child, a man to be admired for his approach to life.

Jim Henson died far too young but left behind and incredible legacy of creativity, compassion, humour, whimsy, insight and characters who will live on and on for both children and for adults who cling to childlikeness and the power of imagination. As a man who ended up being surrounded by celebrities and fame, he never became shallow, self-serving or smug. He stands out as being someone who stuck to his guiding principles until the day he died.

Today for my Saturday Life Quotes I wanted to share some words from a man who made it a life goal to be positive, to be proactive, and to be a force for good in the world…

“My hope still is to leave the world a bit better than when I got here.”

“Life’s like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending.”

“Never eat anything at one sitting that you can’t lift.”

“I’ve always tried to present a positive view of the world in my work. It’s so much easier to be negative and cynical and predict doom for the world than it is to try and figure out how to make things better. We have an obligation to do the latter.”

“I know it’s easier to portray a world filled with cynicism and anger, where problems are solved with violence…It’s an easy out. What’s a whole lot tougher is to offer alternatives, to present other ways conflicts can be resolved, and to show you can have a positive impact on your world. To do that, you have to put yourself out on a limb, take chances, and run the risk of being called a do-gooder.”

“Certainly I’ve lived my whole life through my imagination. But the world of imagination is there for all of us–a sense of play, of pretending, of wonder. It’s there with us as we live.”

“I spend a few minutes in meditation and prayer each morning. I find that this really helps me to start the day with a good frame of reference. As part of my prayers, I thank whoever is helping me – I’m sure that somebody or something is – I express gratitude for all my blessings and try to forgive the people that I’m feeling negative toward. I try hard not to judge anyone, and I try to bless everyone who is part of my life, particularly anyone with whom I am having any problems.”

“Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.”