Strengthening the Mr Rogers Within You

March 20th of every year is the sneer campaign’s most revered of holidays: the day that Fred Rogers was born, once upon a time. Happy Mr Rogers Day to you! I have already talked him up big numerous times over the course of this site’s existence, as well as throughout my daily life, but I still would like to honor him in some way.

I figure that in these trying times, Mr Rogers can comfort us. Of course he can. Just thinking about the fact that he ever existed can comfort us every single day, even the good ones! His wisdom applies not only to children and it is very eternal and helpful. I have been poring over the sacred text called The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember and have been compelled to share with you some things that soothed me because of how timely they seem. But, this article will never really become outdated because the quotes will always be relevant.

There have been very nice things happening, loads of silver linings to look at as it simultaneously seems like society is crumbling all around us. Change is scary, but inevitable, and maybe we had been needing to change for a long time and this is the thing that MAKES us finally do it — an event where we need to accept that we are all in this together, since the threat of catastrophic global warming was apparently too abstract for enough people to panic over appropriately. “Hit ’em where it hurts, then,” said Fate.

It may seem unfair that long-needed changes may be happening because privileged people want them finally, but if that’s what it takes, I am just glad that it is happening! Some human beings are empathetically stunted and only have stuff instead of that warm feeling that comes with helping the less fortunate. Pity them while you celebrate that some good may be coming from the turmoil. There are concerns that once things settle down, the old ways will come back, but will people really be willing to accept it? I sure get the feeling that it won’t be so easy, and it shouldn’t be!

As long as we don’t greedily hoard everything out of a sense of fear, there should be plenty for everyone. Before you take any action, ask yourself if you are being motivated by panic or greed. If so, stop! Don’t be part of the problem. There are so many people who are organizing ways to help other people. Ask them for help if you really need to, or better yet, join up with them to be of service to your community — from a safe distance, of course. I am certain you can find ways to help and be helped, ways that will give you and others senses of calm and hope.

If you can afford it, support your local businesses just like everyone has been saying for years. Strong communities really do rely on small businesses and strong communities provide security for everyone in them. Hoarding money may prove to be pointless if the economy collapses, and while our out of touch overlords are still in power, our power is going to be between us and our strength is going to be in cooperation and kindness to each other — no matter what. But I’m not here to write a manifesto today. I don’t think you should write one of those in a single hour.

Out of work teachers are finding ways to still teach, and have been figuring out how to get meals to children whose parents struggle. Performers are stepping up to provide free arts and entertainment — I expect the internet will probably become a mighty flood of uploaded videos across many platforms, sweeping us all away in incredible rushes of free content, may it never end. All levels of artistic types are starting writing and art groups that allow for sharing and encouragement. It is a very supportive environment if you are looking in the right places.

Mr Rogers’ sense of wonder can help us, as we are socially distant or in isolation, quietly thinking and feeling and becoming better versions of ourselves. Any of his personal anecdotes seem to include a moment where he had thought about it afterwards, and mentions that what at first seems like a minor interaction in his day turned out to be the most important just because it was a moving experience for someone else. Then, he would be thankful for realizing that he had had the honor to be in their moment. Mr Rogers was very other-oriented, never self-centered.

There is goodness in that, and I recommend that you start challenging yourself to see things that way, too, if you don’t already. I also think that if you can see small things as wonderful blessings, you will not only be lifted up from a dark cloud but once you make it a constant habit, you will be a very fulfilled beacon of hope that can inspire those around you.

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