What I learned from The Waltons

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While I love the freedom that comes with working at home, it can get lonely at times. These days I can’t stomach listening to the news for too long, and often I get tired listening to the radio, and then Olivia and John Walton -and their kids and Grandparents and friends- come over a daily visit, and take my mind of all the negativity we all get by the truckload these days. Isn’t streaming fabulous? 

I am surprised about the amount of FEEL GOOD that washes over me while listening and watching THE WALTONS.

Perhaps its a sign of my own aging, that I find myself rewatching an old TV series I grew up with, but the truth is I didn’t grow up with the Waltons. I was born and raised in Munich, Germany and while I knew who the Waltons were, I wasn’t really a fan back then. Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk were my TV heroes, so was Little Joe and Mr. Cardwright from Bonanza.

Today’s episode of the Waltons was particularly interesting. An older woman couldn’t read or write and tried to hide her shortcomings from all her friends and neighbors. Of course somehow John Boy -smart as he is- found out and decided to help her. He didn’t want her to feel embarrassed about it, neither did he want her to feel like he would lecture her or teach or, so instead of just offering his help, he asked her to assist him teaching his little sister Elizabeth -who had difficulties learning to read and write herself.

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He asked her to join the lesson, asked the older woman to pretend like she would have to learn the ABC herself so that Elizabeth didn’t feel like she was the only one having troubles.

How kind and gentle and thoughtful, but also how old-fashioned this behavior seems to be compared to our present times.

Today so much -too much for my taste- is shared online with anybody and everybody who is willing to look an listen. A wrong word, a wrong gesture can turn you into a YouTube sensation, where your shortcomings and character flaws are exposed for the world to see.

A picture of a woman struggling to write her name would have gone viral in no time, and there is the possibility she might have been judged brutally.

Perhaps we wouldn’t judge her but instead would celebrate John Boy as the hero of the hour. We would praise him for his kindness, and his story would be the subject of many retweets.

Not much stays hidden these days and I think that’s what I dislike the most. 

There is much to relearn from the Waltons if you think about it, or perhaps I am the only one who wishes back a time when not everything was shared with everybody.

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