Have you heard of Mr. Roger’s neighborhood? Was he your neighbor? Do you remember him, his zip up and zip down sweater routine, the way he crossed one leg over the other as he politely removed his shoes?
Do you remember the way he uttered, “feed the fish” and then I knew as a child, exactly how much fish food to pinch because I saw him do it.
Do you remember him telling you that thunderstorms gave you no reason to be afraid? I remember trusting his word because he never gave me a reason to doubt him.
He said what he meant and meant what he said. “I always felt I didn’t need to put on a funny hat or jump through a hoop to have a relationship with a child.”
If a child can read a phony, it only served to show up honestly. He helped each child understand with sincerity, when he said, ” I like you just the way you are”. I believed it because he was there – just the way he was.
Here are a few reasons why we all need someone like Fred Rogers in our life.
We all need someone to understand that we are not the random snapshot of our life, but the sum total of experiences, past, present and future. With this thought, no one is beyond help or understanding. This kind of thinking begs to wait for more light to be shown on the situation before a judgement is made.
We all need someone to be there. Right where we left them. It’s almost as if they are a faithful undeveloped side character in the story of our lives, and they are not going anywhere. Uncertainty brings such a restlessness to our hearts as we wait nervously for our next affirmation or validation. These people are always found stationary and subtle, but heals our most misunderstood wounds.
We all need someone who is proud of us. Personality Hacker types Fred Rogers as “Memory Harmony” in the Genius style assessment. These wonderful people demonstrate a much needed characteristic in our world – pride. They clap when your recitals sound terrible, they cheer when you get taken to the sidelines, they smile and find a reason to celebrate in the C- you brought home from school. And they keep biding time for you to become the person you are meant to be, holding their breath while you learn to breathe.
Mr. Rogers was on the path of becoming a minister when he watched children’s televisions for the first time at his parents house while on break. Registering disgust as he watched the cartoons unfold, he decided he would take another path and began to work as a lower level employee with NBC. Eventually, he moved up to creating his own television program that reached into so many hearts around the country.
A person like Fred Rogers understood that we are made up of the people who have invested the most in us. Maybe it is a parent, maybe a friend. Maybe someone further along in life, whether one year or twenty ahead of you that reminded you “it’s going to get better”. If Mr. Rogers were still here with us, he would ask you to take a moment, let that person know you appreciate them. Would you do that now?
Thanks for reading today, and remember, there are many ways to say
“I love you” there are many ways to say, “I care about you.”