“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
– Fred Rogers
For those of you who might not know who the soft-spoken Fred Rogers is, he starred in a preschool children’s TV show called Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood that ran in the U.S. from 1968 till 2001. A tall, lanky, cardigan wearing man, he spoke directly to the kids about all sorts of issues. And in each episode he sang his famous theme song: “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?…”
I want to share some other Fred Rogers quotes with you in a time when we need the kindness of Mister Rogers in all our neighborhoods.
When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.
All we’re ever asked to do in this life is to treat our neighbor—especially our neighbor who is in need—exactly as we would hope to be treated ourselves. That’s our ultimate responsibility.
If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life’s important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.
Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.
I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.
Thank you Mister Rogers for being one of the people who helped.