Friday, December 17, 2010


Jack Dikian
December 2010

With all that has been unfolding in my personal life, the highs, and bitter disappointments, I wanted to try and focus on happier days - times gone by. One of those times was when I first read Mary Poppins, and then again, years later when I saw the movie. As the story goes -

After Mary Poppins wins a horse race, flush with her victory, she is immediately surrounded by reporters who pepper her with leading questions and they comment that she probably is at a loss for words. Mary disagrees, suggesting that at least one word is appropriate for the situation - Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and begins the song.

Mary Poppins says about Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, who cares what it sounds like? And who cares if it's a real word? Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is a nonsense word that describes exactly how it feels: fantastic! Mary Poppins uses it to express her effortless win at the cartoon derby. Mr. Banks uses it when he feels the freedom to walk away from a dead-end job. The children sing it while they march around the house.

The origin of the word - super- "above", cali- "beauty", fragilistic- "delicate", expiali- "to atone", and docious- "educable", with the sum of these parts signifying roughly atoning for educability through delicate beauty.

Mary Poppins Principle - is about making life a game.

That staightlaced nanny who was "practically perfect in every way" certainly had a way of injecting fun into people's lives! From going to the bank to connecting new friends to the cartoon derby, Mary Poppins embodies the concepts of freedom through discipline and discipline through fun.

Much like Mary Poppins, just after she made herself hired and went to the children's nursery, she decided that they should tidy up the room? The children were upset and she said that they would make a game of the activity.

"This is a game, isn't it, Mary Poppins?" was Jane's concerned question, in which she replied that you have to have an element of fun in everything you do. As a consequence, the activity, instead of being perceived as an ordeal or a chore, is then perceived as a collaborative game; it becomes enjoyable.

Games are the one essential in life which we should strive to maintain, no matter how old we are and no matter how worn out we might be. I am not talking about sports, here, though some possess a "game" quality. I am talking about the act of having fun while doing certain activities.

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