Arthur Read from the classic 90s show, "Arthur," is the prime example of the boy next door. He is the everyday man. He has great aspirations but limited capabilities. That's why Alan (or The Brain) dubs him "Average" Arthur.
Growing up, I underestimated the value his character brought to the show. Yet upon reflection, I cannot shake the feeling that we are all just like Arthur, struggling through the hardships of the third grade (or our 20s).
Aside from experiencing complete nostalgia, when I think of the show, I feel a great sense of comradeship. This might be a little deep for a kid’s TV show, but values taught on "Arthur" still hold true today. The following is a list of life lessons we can learn from Arthur and his friends:
1. "Having fun isn't hard if you've got a library card."
It is no secret that Marc Brown is a big advocate for encouraging children to read. I mean, his main character's last name is Read! However, having a child develop the habit of reading at an early age is a challenge, unless you are able to provide books he or she will truly enjoy (“Scare-Your-Pants-Off” series or “Henry Skreever,” anyone?)
Books allow our creative juices to flow. They provide solutions to Generation-Y's biggest nags: "I am bored" and "I am lonely." With a good book, you will always have entertainment and company at your fingertips.
2. "Absolutely bus-a-looe-y, crazy, lazy, crazy, crazy bus."
Sitting in front of the TV, starring at a glowing screen and zoning out for countless hours would drive anyone bus-a-looe-y! The message is simple: laziness leads to craziness.
Arthur and his friends encourage us to be active by always trying out new and fun outdoor activities. "It's time to experience the wonders of nature in the GREAT OUTDOORS." (If you got this reference, I salute you!)
Leading an active life in body, mind and soul reaps countless rewards. I, just like the rest of my fellow Millennials, am guilty of binge watching shows online, uncontrollably and without any purpose.
Instead of wasting fruitful weekends and evenings, why not use those precious hours doing something constructive, like Arthur did with his pet business?
3. "How 'bout Leftovers Goulash? Nothing brown, and nothing soupy, nothing slippery and nothing gloopy."
The journey of life will feel too long and end too fast if we repeat the same steps each day. We need to keep an open mind and stray off path once in a while. You will never know your preferences unless you try the different available options.
Buster Baxter should be the poster boy for this slogan. He will try anything, regardless of appearances. We need to stay positive and not predetermine our opinions in regards to any experience or facet of life.
4. "Chart the journey that Balboa took. Do the first thousand problems in your new math book."
Mr. Ratburn is portrayed as a scary and strict teacher who also enjoys being a puppeteer during his spare time. You often do not realize the true value of a teacher until years later.
Along with the benefit of education, Mr. Ratburn has taught his students how to respect time. If you organize your time efficiently, you can complete all of your responsibilities and have some extra time to spare for your own relaxation.
It is important to have a side passion that is separate from your career. It could be an instrument, a sport, a hobby, a talent, etc. Squeezing in an activity that helps you unwind will alleviate any stresses from your day-to-day life.
5. "Believe in yourself, for that's the place to start."
No children's TV show would be complete without a feel-good message. I know, it's uber cheesy, but with Arthur, it just seems genuine. Be yourself: Be kind to yourself, be true to yourself, love yourself and believe in yourself. Simple?
I know, saying it is simple, but applying it is the challenge. We all have weakness and impurities we want to fix. We just need to find the strength to accept them.
We all have the ability, but sometimes, we need a leading hand, which is why we need to be considerate and hold onto our dear family and friends. With shared compassion, they will be your support system and assist you along the way.
[singing] “Everybody thinks that my brother stinks like a piece of yellow cheese. But me, I say, that he's okay as long as there's a breeze.” - D.W. Read