Outside of my office is a big digital rotating billboard and last week it flashed a large black and white photo of Mary Tyler Moore (MTM) and 1937-2017. It seemed as if every time I looked out of my office window her photo was staring right at me. It brought back so many good memories and I could remember her theme song of “Love Is All Around.” So on Valentine’s Day, I am going to reflect on MTM because love should be all around. “What the world needs now is love, sweet love. It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.”
It was a Saturday night tradition. My college roommate and I made it a ritual to watch the Mary Tyler Moore Show. If I remember correctly, it was on television about 7 pm so early enough not to interrupt date night — if we had dates, plans, or if we were going to the dance on campus where we had great live rock bands almost on a weekly basis. Since the show was on from 1970-1977, it was on every Saturday night during my college years. We had to be home to watch it later since there was no recording, streaming, or watching on demand.
In a recent New York Times, there was an excellent opinion piece about Mary’s impact on the author and journalist’s life. While I am not a journalist, I agreed with her conclusions and she identified specific segments in the shows that illustrated these themes. Mary Tyler Moore taught anyone who watched her show that we can:
- Be nice and strong.
- Stand up for others and for yourself.
- Ask for what you deserve.
- Fight the war, but not every battle.
- Honor your foremothers.
- Stay true to your values.
CBS had an excellent tribute to celebrate Mary’s life and I saw it rebroadcast on PBS. Several of Mary’s friends who were on her show were interviewed. I believe it was Valerie Harper who played Rhoda who said something such as, “We all wanted to be like Mary. But we were probably more like Rhoda. And we were worried we were going to be like Phyllis (Cloris Leachman).”
As a woman, how could you not want to be like Mary Tyler Moore as we knew her on the show?
Thank you, Mary.
On this Valentine’s Day and in these uncertain times, I am reminded of the words to the song Humble and Kind. It is so easy to get distracted, to blame, to disappoint. Below, I am sharing some words that we were given in my social justice class JustFaith. I thought these words were perfect for sharing on Valentine’s Day.
Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is,
than falling in love in a quite absolute way.
What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.
It will decide what gets you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evening,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in love,
stay in love, and it will decide everything.
Pedro Arrupe, former Superior General of the Society of Jesuits