I didn’t have Mister Rogers growing up, but many of my friends did. My sister-in-law loves him and watching this video I can see why.
He was a success in television. Children’s television. He wasn’t a puppet, or a cartoon, or even someone that jumped around with a magic notepad or a silly hat. He was an older man that taught lessons and read stories and still managed to capture attention.
I just watched this speech and I’m hooked. He’s so calming. He has all of those plastic people enraptured and silent, and some of them probably actually did as they were told and thought of someone else for ten seconds.
I realized that in just over 3 minutes (one of which was taken up by Tim Robbins blabbering while not even looking at the man he was addressing), he reminded me of my childhood lessons. Some of which I forget on a daily basis:
1. Be thankful. Remember who it is that brought you to the moment you are in and be grateful to them and for the life you have.
2. Be respectful. Give your undivided attention. Don’t try to do 20 things at once. Do one thing and focus on it. Do it well. If it’s talking to someone, look them in the eye and give them your attention.
3. Be calm. It will calm those around you. Even when I’m singing a wild song or tickling my 18 month old I could be showing outward calm. And being prepared will help to keep calm too. Even when I’m running around like a headless chicken trying to get things ready for the next day (kid A’s stuff, kid B’s stuff, my stuff, pump, ice packs…) I can be calm.
4. Be confident. See how he commands the audience? He’s just a regular guy – no plastic surgery, his wife looks like someone I might know, not overly tanned or bouffant hair. He acts like he’s sure of himself and he CAN command an audience. But I’m pretty sure he’s nervous as any of us might be. I would guess if I act this way with my kids, I’ll train them to act confident too. And then it’s the whole “fake it until you make it” thing, right?
Thanks Mister Rogers for teaching me something today! Even though we weren’t neighbors when I was growing up, you just managed to affect the lives of two more children positively! Three if you count me too!