Kermit & I

Kermit the Frog has always been my favorite of the Muppets. I do not know if I can explain why. Something about him though just rang true.

Don’t get me wrong. Fozzie Bear is fantastic and runs a close second for me. But there is always a bit of pathos to him. And although I love his jokes, I cannot help but feel sorry for him.

It occurred to me this morning as I made breakfast that while I have long known of my similarity to the frog, we have a crucial difference. Kermit has the “numbers juggling” mentality to happiness.

When I started juggling, I noticed that there are two paths in that activity. In one path, the juggler learns to manipulate more & more objects. The juggler is always trying to catch more balls, more rings, more clubs. Always going for greater height in his or her throws to allow more time to complete the cascade. This is often called “numbers juggling.” It is typified with the question, “I can juggle X balls, how many can you do?”

Truthfully, the uninitiated often feed into this mindset. The first question a juggler often hears from his audience is, “how many can you do?” As if three objects is boring and anything less than ten will cause them to fall asleep.

Down the other path, the juggler is seeking variety. It is not how many objects a juggler can keep in the air in this version. It is what they can do with them. These jugglers are attempting to put together a show. They want to show some razzle dazzle. Three objects is perfectly acceptable … as long as they can do a few tricks and keep the audience’s attention.

Kermit wants to make millions of people happy. He said as much in The Muppet Movie. There is nothing wrong with that. It is an admirable goal. But I am living on a different scale and my path takes me in a different direction.

Posted from WordPress for Android

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2 responses to “Kermit & I

  1. Now when people ask me how many I can juggle, this is what I think of. I tell them I’m not into numbers. Majoring in math cured me of any interest in numbers 😉

    I like to imagine that all the algebraic manipulations that I prefer to play with find some kind of isomorphism in my juggling, and if I get really stuck on something at work, I start to wonder whether I am finally going to need that 4th ball to get the isomorphism to work.

  2. I always like to have 6 balls handy, though, even if I can’t handle more than 3 by myself. You just never know when someone will walk up to you and want to start passing with you, or when a whole family of children will run up and want you to teach them something =)

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