Monday, February 11, 2013

Ferdinand and the Little Engine that Could

Public radio station fund drive.  They talk a lot, do a lot of goofy things, play certain songs over and over.  This morning their thing was reading children's books.

First they read The Story of Ferdinand.  I like the book. The way they were reading it, enjoying every word, enjoying the pictures, as adults, reminded me of something.  I used to have friends who would hang out with me at my house, and we used to read Winnie the Pooh to each other. 

It made me sad, that I no longer have friends who enjoy hanging out at my house and reading children's books with me.

Then they read The Little Engine That Could.  That book I didn't like.  It made me mad listening to it.  I don't know the tale well from reading it in the past.  What I see on the internet now indicates that the request for help was refused by big strong engines.  However, when I heard it on the radio this morning, all I heard was that the old rusty train declined to help, saying, "I can't."  Then comes the young little energetic train who agrees to help.  To me, it was saying us tired old people are bad, and young energetic people are to be glorified.

Then there's the whole matter of "I think I can."  The message is you can do anything if you try hard enough.  That is just a horrible message.  It causes feelings of failure in those of us who have not been able to do what we want.  And it also causes us to think that anyone who is poor, ill, disabled, etc., must be so because they aren't trying hard enough. 

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