Cartoons on Saturday mornings.
This is a memory for those in my age group. We kids waited all week to be able to plop down in front of the TV, with our blanket tents and peanut butter toast, to spend a few cherished hours watching our shows.
It seems like a magical time in my childhood.
Yet, today, I was taken back to childhood, when I looked up a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I was trying to remember the name of the small dog that was always trying to please the big bully dog. Its name was Tyke, I found out. The big dog was Spike.
This might sound crazy, but when I watched the cartoon, I cried. Not because I miss my childhood, but because of the graphic violence of these particular characters.
I had to wonder. Why the strong reaction?
I guess it is because I really can identify with the Tyke character. As a smaller dog (and not one whose ideas are accepted right away) Tyke often gets backhanded for his eagerness to please the big dog. He perseveres, however, knowing there may be more backhands along the way, until his idea is acceptable.
How many times have we been the small dog?
How is it that bullies, like the big dog, are the ones with the power?
Does feeling insignificant mean you will become more like the bully to get noticed?
Personally, I have worked in many settings. During this life walk, I have leaned toward the small dog, but aspired to be the bully. That’s right “aspired”. Whether it was a way to put control into my life or to manage the control of others, I wanted the chance to have the power.
And you know what I have found?
Bullies are never happy. Small dogs, who are eagerly jumping and cajoling and complimenting, are never happy either. They jump through hoops, try all different ways to get the big dog’s attention, but in the end, they will feel as if they have failed.
Today’s cartoons show evil characters as they are. Dripping with forbidding fierce clothes and faces, we know the bad guys from the get go. But those old cartoons, where the mouse is escaping the cat, who is escaping the big dog, who is constantly being bothered by the insignificant pup…well, I feel like we can all plug ourselves into one of those character roles.
Think about it.
How might you have been formed?
Is it acceptable to slap someone in the face for an idea you didn’t like? Do you listen to other people with ears open or closed?
Do you wield power and control over others because you need to be in charge?
I have been told I think about things too much. I interpret behaviors directly from how I have been shaped.
I hope our new and improved children and children’s children receive messages that fill the world with happiness, peace, and integrity.