Philosophy and Sesame Street

So I’ve had this old classic stuck in my head for the last few days.  It’s a nice little earworm.  Fun melody, ironically easy-to-remember lyrics.  But with me, earworms often develop into stranger creatures.  I start playing with them, reading into them, modifying them.

I’ve heard it said, “with words and music
A fella can’t go wrong”
But la-dee-da-dee-dum
La-dee-da-dee-dum
What’s the name of that song?

I’m sure this is a bit deeper than what the writers intended, but look at those lyrics in the context of the song: if all you need are words and music, and you have words and music, why are you focused on the name of the song?  It would be nice to know, but if all it’s doing is dragging you down, focus on what you have and be satisfied.  You have words, you have music.  You can’t go wrong.

But that’s not how humans operate.  If we never let little things get to us, we would just be emotionless shells.  If we think we can solve a problem, we try to solve it.  Even if it’s a little problem, even if there are bigger problems out there, and even if there is so much more good to focus on instead.  And it’s important that we sacrifice our happiness to these kinds of things.

But while all of that’s true, and we do need to give time to all of the things that hold us back, it’s also true that we can’t give them too much time.  At some point we need to ignore the parts of the song we can’t remember, and enjoy the parts we do.

Because, in the end, we can’t help singing “la-dee-da-dee-dum” loud and clear and strong.  And that’s a big part of what makes us human, too.

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