One of my favorite shows growing up had to be re-runs of The Andy Griffith Show. The show was set in the town of Mayberry, North Carolina. What’s so special about Mayberry? It’s the little post office where towns’ folk swap tall tales. It’s Weavers General Store, where all the shopping is done .It’s the fishing hole, where bonds are made between father and son… There’s Floyd the Barber who knows everyone, and knows about everyone. It’s sitting on the porch in a cool summer breeze sipping on iced tea. It’s the children playing sandlot ball and meandering around, enjoying being a kid. It’s all the unique individuals wondering around, sitting in the park or leaning on a picket fence, talking about everything and nothing. And the guy in charge? That’s Sheriff Andy Taylor, a tough but fair fellow, who is sort of a Solomon of his given jurisdiction.
Mayberry doesn’t exist. Now, I have known this since I was old enough to understand, that “Mayberry” was a fictional town created by some excellent writers. What I have come to find, growing up, is that the “spirit” of Mayberry does not exist in today’s America. Even when the show was being filmed and produced in the 1960s, America was a far different place than the show portrayed.
I remember the small town in the small county I grew up in as a kid. I remember the area as having a Mayberry-esque feel to it. Now as an adult I am sad to say, the area is littered with drugs and crime. What I am not really sure about, was it like this when I was a child, and I looked at the world through the lens of innocence that children possess, not comprehending the poverty, not exposed to crime or drugs, or has it always been like this? I think it’s some of both, though I believe more so, that the latter applies.
What was so great about Mayberry? I believe these six words best describe Mayberry - Civility. Charity. Love. Dignity. Honor. Respect.
So how can we gravitate towards that fictional place called “Mayberry” How about a random act of kindness now and again? How about taking time to show and let your family know that you love them. How about introducing yourself to your neighbor, if you have never spoken before? How about taking a few moments, and disconnecting from this 24/7 on demand culture we live in, and (using the old cliché), smell the roses. How about correcting our mistakes instead of blaming everyone else?
Support your community. Support Local Business. Get involved. Respect others opinions and viewpoints.
Mayberry may be fictional, but the ideals of Mayberry do exist and can be obtained.