I've always been a huge fan of ANYTHING done by Jim Henson. My favorite movie is still "Labyrinth" after all these years (and I will admit that when I saw it as a little kid, I definitely thought that David Bowie was a girl. I was too innocent to notice the bulge in his spandex pants); I'm not a fan of manga, but I've gone out of my way to purchase the new manga series "Return to the Labyrinth" and "Legends of the Dark Crystal" (and they're pretty good too)! I've introduced my husband to some of Jim's lesser-known works, like his "Storyteller" series (both the original and Greek myths); I read books about Jim Henson's creature shop, biographies about him, his work on Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and more!
One of my favorites is a small book called, "It's not easy being Green and other things to consider" by Jim Henson, The Muppets, and Friends. It's a collection of quotes, stories, anecdotes and songs and I always find it inspiring and uplifting to read. I'm not a religious person, and I believe in helping people and always trying to do good things in life. Since I first read this quote by Jim in undergrad, I've always tried to live according to it (sheesh, it's like the Muppets are my Bible!):
"When I was young, my ambition was to be one of the people who made a difference in this world. My hope still is to leave the world a little bit better for my having been here. It's a wonderful life and I love it." -Jim Henson
Now this doesn't mean that you have to do BIG, GINORMOUS, AWESOME THINGS (like Jim Henson accomplished) to make a difference and leave the world a better place. It can be as simple as volunteering every now and again; making donations to your local shelter or food bank; tutoring; reading at night to your kids; walking/biking/taking public transportation; sharing your art with the world; helping a stranger; adopting a pet; and just being kind and understanding! All these things may seem small in the grand scheme of things, but they all make the world a better place little by little. And maybe you'll inspire someone else to do kind things.
Hope that gives you a little uplifting boost for your weekend! I'll close with a graduation speech made by Kermit the Frog:
"I really do believe that all of you are at the beginning of a wonderful journey. As you start traveling down that road of life, remember this: There are never enough comfort stops. The places you're going to are never on the map. And once you get that map out, you won't be able to refold it no matter how smart you are.
So forget the map, roll down the windows, and whenever you can, pull over and have a picnic with a pig. And if you can help it, never fly as cargo."