In business, communication is always a hot topic. What's the best way to do it? Which information needs to be shared to help them do their job? How can you make the employees engage now and remember later? The same is true when communicating with children. What information should be shared with them now, and what should be saved for another time? How can you get their attention and help them recall what they've learned? It's a great gift to be able to communicate effectively with either group. It's an even greater gift to be able to communicate with and entertain everyone, no matter their age.
Jim Henson was one of the few who knew how to reach any audience. This gifted artist could make anyone laugh, and could convey important messages in language accessible to viewers old and young. Henson also gave the world some of its most iconic characters. Think about Oscar the Grouch. A grumpy green puppet who lives in a trash is certainly an unlikely hero, but Henson somehow made him likeable, despite his shortcomings. While he's best known for his work with The Muppets and Sesame Street, don't forget about his many other accomplishments, including The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and Fraggle Rock. What Jim Henson did with puppets, for adults and children alike, was magic.
To mark his birthday on September 24, here are quotes by Jim Henson to remind you of the wonderful things in life:
1. "Life is meant to be fun, and joyous, and fulfilling."
2. "When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope is to leave the world a little better for having been there."
3. "When you trick people into laughing at themselves, that's wit. If you don't laugh at yourself, everything becomes heavy."
4. "The only way the magic works is by hard work. But hard work can be fun."
5. "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."
6. "Do everything at 100 percent of its potential and never accept second best."
7. "The most sophisticated people I've ever known had just one thing in common: they were all in touch with their inner children."
8. "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."
9. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye."
10. "There's not a word yet, for old friends who've just met."
11. "If you care about what you do and work hard at it, there isn't anything you can't do if you want to."
12. "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."
13. "As children, we all live in a world of imagination, of fantasy, and for some of us that world of make-believe continues into adulthood."
14. "Simple is good."
15. "I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey. As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to re-fold it no matter how smart you are. So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can pull over and have picnic with a pig. And if you can help it never fly as cargo."
16. "Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on an evening star? Somebody thought of it and someone believed it, and look what its done so far."
17. "The beauty of nature has been one of the great inspirations in my life."
18. "The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you tell them. They don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
19. "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."
20. "Follow your enthusiasm. It's something I've always believed in. Find those parts of your life you enjoy the most. Do what you enjoy doing."
21. "We see with our eyes. We know with our hearts."
22. "Life's like a movie. Write your own ending. Keep believing. Keep pretending. We've done just what we set out to do. Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers and you."
23. "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."
24. "Do the jobs you like least first. It makes each successive job easier."
25. "Here's some simple advice: Always be yourself. Never take yourself to seriously. And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament."
26. "Music is an essential part of everything we do. Like puppetry, music has an abstract quality which speaks to a worldwide audience in a wonderful way that nourishes the soul."
27. "If our 'message' is anything, it's a positive approach to life. That life is basically good. People are basically good."
28. "Take what you got and fly with it."
29. "Even as a kid, I felt isolated. Isolation makes you sensitive. As a kid, I felt I was the only person who was like that. But there's a good side to isolation. It makes you sensitive, and sensitivity is part of the creative process."
30. "There's great value in being able to step back and laugh at yourself, at life and at attitudes. Laughter helps you put everything into perspective."