The Simple Wisdom of Mr. Rogers
Yesterday, I was on a flight back from a work trip and I decided to watch the Mister Rogers documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? For kids of a certain generation who grew up watching Mr. Rogers, I found myself tearing up throughout the film because of the simple kindness and wisdom of this man.In the midst of the tumult and anger that we experience in our world--the Kavanaugh trial, toxic masculinity, CNN blaring, Twitter wars--it was balm to the soul to remember Mister Rogers. Here are some takeaways that touched me deeply:
I like you just the way you are:
Mister Rogers love and accepted people for their inherent value, not for who they could be but for who they were right now. He wanted us to realize that all of us have something unique and beautiful to contribute to the world.
Sometimes I'm scared:
Mister Rogers taught many generations of children that it's OK to have feelings. He had a unique gift for remembering what it was like to be a child, to be vulnerable and confused. He also reminded us to always look for the helpers because in every situation, there are always people who are helping.
Use the silence:
There were periods in Mister Rogers in which he shared a moment of silence or quiet moments. The silence was intentional to create calm for children. It made me think about I can embrace silence more in my life.
Love is all you need:
Mister Rogers believed that love or lack of it was at the root of everything. He believed that children emulated what they saw and that if children saw us treating each other with respect, dignity and great love, they could do the same. He spoke to children and other people with great respect for them and they, in turn, loved him back.In the end, the message was so clear and simple: to be a leader, a change-maker, a person on this planet all you need is to be kind and to be loving. To remind everyone that they are loved and capable of loving. Why do we make everything else so complicated?