Today is the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers Neighborhood.
I so admired Mr. Rogers as a kid and can’t think of a better way to start the week than to celebrate his legacy, as today is the 50th anniversary of when Mister Rogers Neighborhood first aired. I admired his way of promoting hope and a healthy way to express feelings and emotions. I admired his commitment to telling children the truth and above all, showing kindness.
Five years ago I wrote a blog post that offered this Mister Rogers quote:
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.”
And then I went on with a quote of my own:
“The people who helped me as a child are heroes for me. Mister Rogers is a hero for me. But now that the years of pain have passed, I want to be someone that helps others. I want to help kids, and the people who raise and love those kids. I want to be someone who uses her gifts to lift up people, to help us all to live a life filled with grace and compassion.”
I like it when I look back on an old blog post and actually feel like it still holds true. (haha! The temporary nature of blog entries is quite a mystical thing.)
Mister Rogers commitment to kindness has left an impact on me. Last year I wrote five suggestions for kindness acts in the month of March and included a suggestion for “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” day. If only we could all have a legacy like Fred Rogers. But then again, we can.
Not all of us will have fame or money or a TV show. But every one of us can offer gentle honesty, hope, and nurturing our children. Every one of us can help provide a safe place for someone’s emotions. We can all listen. We can show kindness, even when we feel like the world has been hard on us. We can work through our emotions in a constructive way.
Every one of us can change this world for the better.
I would have liked to tell Fred Rogers how much he helped me. When he looked into the camera and said I was special just as I was… it felt like a balm to my soul. As a little girl, I needed to hear that. But the point that he did this TV show every day without always knowing who he was helping, is not lost of me. In this age of social media, we can (all of us) provide that same level of hope to people we have never met. We may never know who we are encouraging, but we can rest in the assurance that positive words will always find the one that needs them the most.