The Andy Griffith Show ran from 1960-1968. Quite a bit “before my time,” but plentiful reruns allowed me to become a big fan.

I don’t like the show for its humor. It has some, but it’s pretty hokey and outdated. I don’t like the show for its stories. It’s just a sitcom with contrived little occurrences that always resolve themselves like any other sitcom. I like the show because it’s a masterclass in How To Be A Man.

Andy always treats people with respect, whether they deserve it or not. Even the town drunk, Otis, isn’t reviled and is given a chance when he needs one. And not just respect, but concern and fairness.

Andy almost never carries a gun. He doesn’t need one to control situations. He could defuse problems with a firm voice and presence.

Andy rarely loses his temper. And when he does he always apologizes for it.

Andy was smart. He often got to the bottom of things before anyone else.

Andy knew how to have fun and relax. He was the sheriff and a serious man, but he went camping, fishing, out on dates, and often played the guitar.

Yep, he’s a fictional character. Shouldn’t we have real people as role models? Sure, and I do. But just as a schoolyard kid might think of Batman to summon courage to stand up to a bully on the playground, I too sometimes think of ol’ Andy Taylor when I’m trying to figure out how to react to something. At the risk of beating an overused phrase into the ground even more, I often think to myself: What Would Andy Taylor Do? I think if I did it even more I’d be a better person.

Just for fun: did you know the theme song had words?