Inspired by World Kindness Day

Mr. Rogers was a wonderful inspiration to many people. World Kindness Day is a day to celebrate being a neighbor to all people. So, get out your cardigan and be inspired by World Kindness Day.

Who is a person you have met that has influenced your life?

I am a Pittsburgh girl born and raised. When I was around three years old, my parents made a pledged contribution to the local PBS channel through a telethon. Do you remember the old telethons? There would be all of those people in the background answering the telephones. And, if you made a contribution, you would get a free set of books or a special gift. Then your name would run along the bottom of the screen on a ticker.

Sometime during the next week, you would drive to the studio and pick up your gift. Well, my parents took me with them and while we were standing in the line, Mr. Rogers arrived at the PBS studio where his beloved show was filmed. He was hurriedly walking by the people who were waiting in line until he spotted me, a child, and immediately approached. Notably, he got down to my level and talked to me quietly, asking questions, truly interested in what I had to say. Why was this? Because Mr. Rogers had a special exuberance for children.

Exuberance- filled with lively energy or excitement

Exuberance, Isn’t that a fun word? I heard it on the radio this week and knew I had to use it more often and BE it more often. Isn’t that the perfect word to describe Mr. Rogers? Did you know, that while he was away at college, his parents bought their first television? When he came home to visit and saw that TV sitting in the living room he knew that his purpose was to use that television to reach children and I am OH so glad that he did. He made 895 episodes and wrote 200 songs that aired on public television from 1968 to 2008.

Mr. Rogers was there for me when I was a preschooler and our TV only had 5 channels. He was also there for me when I stayed home sick from school. He was there for me in the summers when I was bored. And he was there for me as I raised my own children and he was there for me as we watched the towers fall. My children were watching PBS as we learned what was happening that fateful day.

What memories do you have of Mr. Rogers? Was his show where you learned how crayons were made? Was it the first time you witnessed someone in a wheelchair answering questions about how they felt? Or was it the first time you saw two men of a different color sit next to each other and put their feet into a swimming pool together?

I was blessed enough to meet Mr. Rogers again!!!

I attended a NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) Convention and guess who was the keynote speaker? Mr. Rogers!!! Mr. Rogers was so thoughtful in every aspect of his work. He really understood a preschooler’s needs and their emotions. Mr. Rogers was at that convention to encourage us in our work with young children. He was asked to speak at many engagements and commencements. When he gave his last ever commencement speech in 2002, he had a moment of silence to remember the people who helped the students on their path…

“Anyone who has ever been able to sustain good work has had at least one person – and often many – who have believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without a lot of different investments from others… From the time you were very little, you’ve had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, loved you into loving.” –Fred Rogers

November 13th– World Kindness Day, Cardigan day

As we come upon November 13th, be inspired by World Kindness Day. I would like to invite you to take a moment of silence for Mr. Rogers, to remember his work for the young child. If you miss World Kindness day, you can always celebrate 143 Day (the 143rd day of the year, May 21st (unless it is a leap year), 143 stands for I Love You). I want to encourage you in your work with young children, Mr. Rogers would be so proud of you! He would thank you for being mindful of the children in your care.

Bring it Back to Jesus

Bring it back to Jesus.  In my Sunday school class, at the end of each lesson, there is a Christ Connection. When I am done reading the lesson I say to the class “Now we…” and they say “Bring it back to Jesus!” So, I will end each story by bringing it back to Jesus.

He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27

At the end of every episode, Mr. Rogers said these words;

“You’ve made this day a special day, by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you just the way you are.”

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3 Comments

  1. I watched “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” all the time growing up! I loved that he was local – I’m a northern WV native myself, not too far from Pittsburgh. That’s amazing you got to meet him, especially as a child!

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