On September 24, 1936, Betty and Paul welcomed into their Mississippi home a new baby boy. They named him James Maury.
Little did Betty and Paul know that the baby they held in their arms would grow up to create a whimsical world of puppets known as the Muppets. For the baby was Jim Henson. His chosen path was to lead him into the creation of a world which would bring delight and joy to both children and adults.
Of course, as is the case with many talented and creative individuals on this planet traversing the cosmos, the road to success was difficult. The struggles and closed doors caused him to wonder if he was pursuing the right path for his life.
Finally, he decided to pursue his dream with all the vigor that he could muster. Of course his wife Jane was a constant source of inspiration and encouragement as were his children.
He and Jane met at the University of Maryland where he was working on a major in Home Economics. She assisted him with his creation of Sam and Friends, the forerunner of the Muppets, for a program on WRC-TV in Washington, DC. It was a financial hit.
In many cases a person’s creative juices are aided by a spouse, good friend or mentor. Humans were never designed to be solitary beings. We need friendship and companionship to be truly what we were meant to be in this cosmic ocean of infinite possibilities.
Unfortunately, like so many people who have walked the road of life, the Puppeteer encountered an obstacle which he could not surmount. On the morning of May 16, 1990 Mr. Henson left the confines of this earth after battling bacterial pneumonia.
What was his legacy? He left the world a better place. He brought joy and laughter to countless fellow travellers. He turned the world around with his creative genius and a heart full of caring for people and the environment.
His creations still grace our lives with their interplay of hope today and rainbows tomorrow. As Kermit sang, “Someday we’ll find it, the rainbow connection, the lovers, the dreamers and me.”
For the Puppeteer his creativity and imagination has returned to its source in the cosmic ocean. The next time there is a rainbow, pause for a moment and remember Jim Henson.
Ponder on this—how can you turn your world around? How can you help your brothers and sisters of earth?
G. D. Williams © 2011
Jim Henson Memorial ‘Turn the World Around’ Sung by Harry Belafonte