Andy Griffith was a long-time friend. I could trust him. I could always count on him to give me good advice. He made me feel good.
Okay, we never really met, but Andy has played an important part in my life. Aunt Bee, Opie, Barney, Thelma Lou, Helen Crump, Goober, Gomer and even the eccentric Ernest T. Bass and town drunk, Otis, were all a part of my life too. I’ve watched the show for about five decades and I learned so much from it.
Here are 7 things I learned from Andy.
1. Andy listened. He wasn’t one to lecture his son, Opie, or his friends. Instead, he helped them get to the right answer by asking questions, telling a brief story, and then just listening to them.
2. Andy spent time. He spent one-on-one time with his son, Opie. It wasn’t a big planned event or activity; they just did the ordinary things in life together. Opie was often seen in the Sheriff’s office while Andy was working. Andy was often seen carrying a pole and taking his son out fishing.
3. Andy treated people respectfully. As goofy and quirky as Barney, Floyd the barber, and Goober the mechanic were, he always treated them as equals and with respect. He even treated the town drunk, Otis, respectfully. And he never seemed to expect their respect in return, but he did earn it.
4. Andy took time to relax. Sometimes, Andy just sat on his front porch after dinner and gazed at the stars and reflected about life. Andy and the people of Mayberry also stopped work on Sunday to go to church, rest, sing, and make room for their neighbors at the supper table.
5. Andy was humble. Underneath that country, aw-shucks demeanor was a very wise man. And even though he may have been smarter than everyone else, he was never condescending or critical. Rather, he had a servant’s heart and always did what was best for others.
6. Andy was patient and kind. Andy could have easily lost his patience with emotionally-charged, Barney Fife. But he always kept his cool. And you never heard an unkind word uttered from Andy’s mouth. He was always building others up with his words.
7. Andy treated women with the utmost respect. Whether it was his Aunt Bee or girlfriend, Helen Crump, he always honored and respected the women in his life. He also had great manners. He opened their door, pulled out their chair at the table, and walked on the street side of the sidewalk.
So, to my friend, Andy Griffith, I’ll always be grateful to you for the important things in life that you’ve taught me. I look forward to learning more from you in the future.
What have you learned from Andy Griffith? Please share your comments with me.