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Quote of the Week 10/7/12

by Ellen on October 7th, 2012

Hi Everyone!

I just had to post this as my quote for this week. Given the current debacle over Romney’s plan to cut PBS funding, there’s a video going around of Fred Rogers speaking at the US Senate Subcommittee in 1969 about the value of public broadcasting. The whole video is amazing (as is everything Fred Rogers was involved in), but the tail end really caught my mind. He finishes his statement by reading the lyrics to one of the songs from his show, called “What do you do with the mad that you feel?” In addition to being a simple, beautiful rendition of what his show was about, the song is also a perfect example of the Alexander principle of inhibition.

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a woman
And a boy can be someday a man.

That quality of being able to stop and do something else instead is exactly what we mean by inhibition. It’s a freeing thing; it opens up a world of new options instead of your usual response. And it’s a healthy thing for you and your mind. I love that Fred was at his heart aiming for the same goals that Alexander was; the ability to make conscious, reasoned decisions without falling into reactive habits.

You can watch the whole video here, and listen to the song here.

Thank you Fred!

Forward and Up! is a Pittsburgh-based private practice offering quality instruction in the Alexander Technique in a positive and supportive environment.

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