Books / Leaders & People

The Wisdom of Raggedy Ann and Andy

Old Gems by Keri Douglas“And when one is thinking lovely, kind, beautiful thoughts of course one has no time to be come lonesome.”

Simple wise words for children (and adults) from a father to his daughter long ago. How similar in philosophy to spiritual teachers from around the world addressing parliaments; mass audiences; authoring countless books; or presiding over a simple gathering of families looking for just a bit of wisdom to carry into the following week. Yet, this father, Johnny Gruelle, was an author and illustrator from Arcola, Illinois in the early 1900s.

Cleaning off a section of book case, I found three old Raggedy Ann books. Not having opened them in years, I was curious to re-read what I had loved as a child. As one who likes to know the ending first, I read the closing lines and realized the power of Johnny Gruelle in Raggedy Ann and Andy and the Camel with the Wrinkled Knees, which was first published in 1924.

If we are to calculate out of the 24 hours of a day, how many thoughts, messages, conversations, newspaper articles we participated in are positive or negative. What do we say to our family, neighbors, friends, colleagues and stranger on the street? Of the 24 hours, how much of our daily life is positive?

In the back of Raggedy Ann in the Magic Book by Johnny Gruelle (the actual date of the book I don’t know because the page is torn out) he writes, “The Gruelle Ideal: It is the Gruelle ideal that books for children should contain nothing to cause fright, suggest fear, glorify mischief, excuse malice or condone cruelty. That is why they are called “Books Good For Children.” What information do we supply children today?

Imagine if all that each of us did – whether as a writer, business owner or parent – approached life with this positive attitude. Imagine if all children had the opportunity to learn from positive and motivating parents; teachers in their school; members of their community; local and global news; and, from world leaders. Imagine when they grow up what type of parents they will be and what type of world changing leaders they will be.

Books Good For Children.
It is a small investment with great returns.

By Keri Douglas, writer/photographer, Washington, DC

Read more at Ode magazine Exchange.

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