The Daily Scroll: A Mentorship Recap - October 21st, 2020 Show Notes
Hey there, Questers. Welcome! It's Wednesday, October 21st, and this is Episode 208. We have a bit of a different quote for you today, and we're very excited for this episode. Today's quote is a motto out of the TV show, The Simpsons. And this comes from the fictional town of Springfield's founder, Mr. Jebediah Springfield. And, he says, “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man.”
Yes, you heard that correct - “embiggens”! It’s actually a word that was added to the US dictionary after first appearing in The Simpsons in 1996 as the town motto. And although it's kind of funny, if you listen to our World Vegetarian Day episode a couple of weeks ago, you already know that - (at least I, Shila, the older sister here) - loved The Simpsons, grew up on The Simpsons, felt like I learned a lot of communication and comedy style from The Simpsons, and a lot of political satire and those kinds of things. So, I think it's a great show and a great American institution. And you might be surprised to know that The Simpsons tackles topics more often than other shows. So, religion is featured more often on The Simpsons, family relationships, kind of nuclear power and political structures - all of these things are addressed in this seemingly satirical, adult cartoon. So, bringing this quote forward, for me personally, I love, but also it is actually kind of an empowering quote, even if it's a little silly.
Aw! Well, and the fact that embiggen is now a word, I mean, that is just like the best. And having grown up on the Simpsons, I always felt cool to get to kind of watch this show that had those edgy jokes in it, but it helped to give us a bit of a broader view of the world at large and I think that was helpful. But this quote, "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man." Now, obviously, “embiggens” means to grow. And when we're talking about that noble spirit, what the definition of noble is “ having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles and ideas.” So, this is a spirit that acts out fine, personal quality or high moral principle. This is not about carrying high moral principles. This is not about believing in grand ideals. This is about showing fine personal qualities actively. And that can embiggen even somebody who might seem small.
Wow, I like the spirit as part of this, because it means that it has an underlying aspect as well. A noble spirit means that, even on the inside, that's a person who has these fine qualities and is aspiring to do better and be better. It's that internal work that really is the reflection here. And we've also got great wordplay here, “embiggens the smallest man”, but “smallest man” doesn't necessarily mean physically. It can be the most oppressed or the most downtrodden. And in this least of us, the Nobelist spirit can help those rise up. And the more we can turn up the notch on our noble spirit flame, the more we can embiggen even the smallest man.
Well, I think about some of the stories of people who have been massively oppressed, and then finding people within those groups who will rise up. It makes me think of Malala. In the most hopeless of circumstances, she’d been attacked. And she comes from a place where women aren't allowed to be educated and yet she continues to fight and show up, even when she’s being attacked for fighting for women who are not being educated to have the right to do so. And so, through that noble spirit, she is showing up, and she is acting out these fine personal qualities and high moral principles and ideas...She’s not just holding them, but she’s acting them out. And she's just one girl and she's changing a country and the nation's ideals around the rights and wrongs of women in education. So, it can really help uplift anybody who's willing to carry an act in such a noble spirit.
Well, I think of Greta Thunberg as with her efforts towards climate change. She's got that noble spirit. And so, she might be a "small person", but that noble spirit is embiggening the entire world to pay attention and to listen. A man that also comes to mind, of course, is Viktor Frankl - author of Man's Search for Meaning - who writes out of the Holocaust. And so, out of a concentration camp comes one of the most enlightening books on personal happiness, and growth, and fulfillment that the world's ever seen. And what a more credible source, but talk about a noble spirit who would have probably been counted as one of the “smallest men.” So, another interesting one to bring to you today! So, just to remind you, today's quote comes from the profound fictional town of Springfield whose motto from their founder, Jebediah Springfield is, "A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man."
All right, gang. So, today's quest is a Simpson's Quest! Today, we want you to use your noble spirit to embiggen the smallest man you can find today...AKA a kid! Get out there and find a kid, pour in a little bit of your noble spirit, and embiggen them. If you do not know any children, do not go out strangely seeking for children, but find someone who's a little bit behind you on the path and use some of that noble spirit to embiggen them. Are you ready?
Kay & Shi: