With a video rental store in our small home town, my childhood was filled with flicks viewed on a VHS recorder that we often borrowed for the weekend. My Saturdays and Sundays were filled with Disney flicks, James Bond adventures and traveling with the very sexy Indiana Jones.
Every once in awhile, I get reminecent of the childhood movies I loved watching over and over during the borrow time from the store. These movies include “Bedknobs and Broomsticks”, “Herbie the Love Bug” and, yes, even “Mary Poppins.” With the various commercials promoting the “Saving Mr. Banks” movie coming soon, I figured I should reaquaint myself with the quirky, kind yet stern, cheerful and never cross Nanny of my childhood.
While I knew the songs and the road to “parental enlightment” that the popular film would take — I was surprised at the little lessons I forgot along the way. Mary, the nanny of her Jane and Michael’s dreams, takes them on fantastical journeys through sidewalk chalk paintings and up on to the rooftops of London. But it was her lesson that included a spoonful of sugar that revealed the true underlining theme of the movie.
Mary Poppins decides to play a “tricky” game according to Michael called “Well Begun is Half Done,” otherwise known as “Let’s Tidy up the Nursery.”
Michael: I told you she was tricky.
Mary Poppins: Shall we begin?
Jane: It is a game, isn’t it, Mary Poppins?
Mary Poppins: Well, it depends on your point of view. You see, in every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Find the fun and Snap! The job’s a game!
Through a song about taking a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, Mary helps the kids see the fun in a household chore and the benefits of a positive perspective.
But perspective is more than just seeing the fun in a project — it can also be how you big or small you make the event in your mind. We all face challenges, but what you choose to focus on can magnify the positive or daunting aspects of it.
In his book “Break Out,” Joel Osteen shares a story about a young boy who was playing with a telescope in the front yard. He was looking through the wrong end at a group of boys that had been a bit mean to him in the past. When his father pointed out that he needed to turn it around, the boy said that this way makes the bully seem so small that he wasn’t afraid of him anymore.
“You may need to turn the telescope around. You’ve magnified that problem long enough, you’ve thought about how impossible it is, and how it’s never going to work out,” Osteen continues. “But if you turn it around, you’ll see it from the right perspective.”
Keep the right perspective. Find the positive. Turn the telescope around. Don’t focus on the size of the issue but rather on finding the solution.
Find your own recipe for helping the medicine go down.
- Day 53: Something to Say- Bedknobs and Broomsticks (ahmackay.wordpress.com)
- ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Is Gently Sweetened (hraygurl.wordpress.com)
- What Saving Mr Banks tells us about the original Mary Poppins (theguardian.com)