Turning the world on with a smile

Who can turn the world on with her smile?
Who can take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile?
Well it’s you girl and you should know it.

With each glance and every little movement you show it.

Love is all around, no need to waste it
You can have the town why don’t you take it
You’re gonna make it after all
You’re gonna make it after all

I’m gonna make it after all

Every Saturday night for seven seasons in the 1970’s, Mary Tyler Moore “turned the world on with a smile” with her self-titled TV sitcom. Well, I was a possibility during the time, but thankfully, I still discovered the show thanks to Oprah’s 20th Anniversary DVD.

The plot: Mary Richards (played by Moore), just turned 30 when she moved to Minneapolis after a failed relationship. Determined to make it on her own, she unexpectedly gets hired as Associate Producer for the city’s local newscast.

The show was not only a small screen hit, but has become an inspiration to millions worldwide because of Mary’s truly caring character. There was a great bond between Mary and her supporting characters both on-cam and off, cementing the show in its current place as one of the 11th greatest TV show of all time, according to TV guide.

Oprah says the show had influenced her much, especially since she was just starting in her television career back then. So out of curiosity, I just had to see the show and judge for myself. True enough, I am now one of the millions of fans of the show. I’ve finished the DVD’s of Seasons one and two, and can’t wait to get started on three and four!

While I began watching it when I was just about to leave television late in 2007, I easily related to the series (particularly the first season) more because Mary herself was in transition professionally, and was in untested waters, just as I was at the time. Not to mention that the show’s theme song ends with lines about “making it.”

But what I feel very strongly about is how much the power of love, even in the simplest friendships can transform one’s workplace and one’s entire world. This is certainly a tall order in many places today, where stress, several demands, and maybe even ego trips dictate the environment and policies of an office or organization.

Of course, everything is much easier said (or shown) than done especially on television. But to foster a real atmosphere of caring really is possible. Well, it certainly goes way beyond suggesting that people smile more! Nope. But maybe just starting to really care about other people and be interested in their concerns. But more importantly, having a clear sense of what is right and pursuing it — and shunning all wrongdoing may just make the difference. Naturally, we can’t expect and don’t dare to change the world overnight. But as we’ve always heard, we can always start with ourselves and we can always start small.

If you clicked on the Youtube link above, the last frame of the opening credits shows Mary tossing her hat and celebrating her new-found freedom. It’s now hailed as one of television’s most memorable moments, so much so, that TV Land built a monument in Minneapolis to celebrate that moment in TV history.

So, when I visited Minneapolis last week, there was really no way in the world that I’d miss going to downtown (even in subzero temperature — thanks, Tito Joy!) so I could see the monument myself. And, in making my own hat-toss, I’d like to think that I, too am making a small and humble stand — to keep believing and living in the power of faith, love, righteousness, integrity, justice, and freedom. For at the end of the day, if we want to change the world, all we need to do is start with ourselves.

And yes, I made it after all.

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