“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” Fred Rogers
Often, we look for mentors in this world to emulate. Mister Rogers is one of those amazing souls. For the time that he was on this Earth, he made a tremendous positive impact on so many. While there are so many reasons that I want to be more like him, here are 3 for a start:
Last night, my family and I went to the see the Mister Fred Rogers’ documentary entitled “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Truth be told, I have felt a lot of anxiety lately. Watching too much of the American newsfeed unfolding before my eyes triggered a lot of my fears for the future of my country, I wanted to give my soul a bit of rest so a dose of Mister Rogers and his neighborhood was just what the doctor ordered.
Mister Rogers welcomed feelings in such a way that made one feel no matter how they showed up, it was more than ok. Mister Rogers provided a safe places for children to express themselves and clear confusion because he knew that this makes for healthier people. While hurt people without an outlet look to hurt others, healthy people who can sort themselves out will lift others up. That is what Mister Rogers did, he offered a place to sort out the confusion and lift others up. And, I want to be a person more like that!
There was a part in the movie where Mister Rogers met a 10 year old little boy in a wheelchair named Jeff. Jeff explained to Mister Rogers and the audience that when he was 7 months old, a tumor near his spine damaged the nerves which left him unable to move normally. As I watched Jeff interact with Mister Rogers, tears began to well up in the corner of both eyes. Why? It was clear that no matter the perceived defect, Mister Rogers loved this little boy just the way he was.
And let me be clear, Jeff was pretty amazing just as he showed up. There was no denying the incredible light he emitted. Just watching the two of them together, it took my breath away. Love builds people up, hate tears them down. It grows healthy people, hate creates more of the same. It heals, hate and control build more adversity.
Remember, Mister Rogers said “if you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people that you never dream of. There is something you leave at every meeting with another person.” And, in those meetings, if you can show another a little unconditional love, the ripple effect just might be what the world needs today to heal. And, I want to be a person more like that.
And why did I want to go spend an evening listening and watching Mister Rogers’ documentary? In these very tumultuous times, I want to be around the peacemakers. I want to be a peacemaker. Mister Rogers exuded a peace and calmness that is very difficult to find. The way he spoke and related to others, never raising his voice especially when he was with the children is a good habit to emulate.
Raised in an Italian-American home where passions run high, I was not raised this way. While I love the energy behind living life to the fullest filled with emotion, there is something to be said about breathing in peace as well. And, a balance of both is a good start.
While I have the passionate exuberance taken care of, exposure to living from a place of peace is a necessity as well. Mister Rogers spoke quietly and carried a big dharma. He came to this world with great purpose. While the way he did it may seem a bit goofy, he did create a “prototype” neighborhood based in love, kindness, acceptance and tolerance. He championed others through peaceful means. It is not a surprise that this would strike a chord in those who were the anti-thesis to that. It is clear that the good he brought to the world was noticed. And, I want to be a person and leave a legacy more like that.
For more insights, go to www.megnocero.com.