No, this isn’t a joke. As a parent of three adult children and a grandparent of nine cherished grandchildren, I’d like to publicly offer a deep-felt note of appreciation to one of our country’s most beloved cartoon characters. And for good reason.
Prior to condemning me as having finally lost “it”… consider this true news report. A young five-year-old boy, Andrew Gentile, stepped into a New Jersey lake that his mom thought was shallow. Actually, it was over six-feet deep, and Andrew couldn’t swim. His neighbor, boy hero Reese Ronceray, 8, jumped into the water, swam out to Andrew, latched onto him, situated him in the crook of his arm and quickly swam them both to safety.
Reese said he had simply imitated something he had seen on the popular cartoon show, SpongeBob Squarepants. He remembered the lifesaving strokes he had seen on the episode “SpongeGuard on Duty.”
I often read and hear comments about the evils of television and the horrendous impact it has on today’s younger generation. I’m afraid I have to agree. However, there’s always an exception to the rule, and this certainly appears to qualify as one of those wonderful exceptions. I’m sure you’d agree if either of these young men were beloved members of your Circle of Life.
If you’ve never heard of SpongeBob Squarepants, you might be interested in revisiting a blog article I wrote last year about this loveable character, explaining how his vast empire was created and how it was impacting children worldwide.
SpongeBob is currently Nickelodeon’s highest-rated show, the most distributed property of MTV Networks, and among Nicktoons Network’s most-watched shows. SpongeBob is now broadcast around the world and millions of fans know him as a sea sponge, but in shape and color his body more closely resembles a kitchen sponge and, of course, he lives in a pineapple under the sea!
Laugh if you will, ignore if you must, but realize that this cherished cartoon character changed the lives of these two young men and those who love them.