A Dose of Kindness from Mr. Rogers

Most of our generation remembers Mr. Rogers, the kind and compassionate soul who loved children more than life itself.  Fred Rogers had a highly diversified career as a musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, Presbyterian minister, and of course a TV personality with his acclaimed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which ran for 33 years and focused on children’s emotional and physical concerns.  He also helped develop two other children’s shows, The Children’s Corner and Misterogers.  He received over 40 honorary degrees and several awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 1997. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame  in 1999. Rogers influenced many writers and producers of children’s television shows, and his broadcasts have served as a source of comfort during tragic events, even after his death.

He is still so highly regarded Hollywood decided to dedicate a movie in his honor starring Tom Hanks.  The movie is not only a depiction of the person himself, but also a statement of bringing back kindness and inspiration in this time where there is so much anger and division in our society.  The message of helping, being kind and giving (even if it’s just a little bit) is aimed at each of us.  It will most definitely make you feel better about yourself, and it might also just put a smile on your face, which is a whole lot better than the alternative—that dreaded frown.  Who wants a frown when all they do is put wrinkles on your face.  Ha.

A famous storyline with Mr. Rogers is that he met a journalist who played the role of the antagonist and wanted to find out if Fred Rogers was truly that kind and gracious.  That’s how the relationship started.  How could anyone be that caring and thoughtful.  The result:  an overwhelming yes he was.  After being touched by his true spirit and kindness, they became lifelong friends.  We all have choices in our lives to be kind or not (and it doesn’t mean we will be walked on or over).  Here at BoomerGal, we do nothing but promote goodness, kindness, positivity and inspiration.  Why in the world would you want anything else.  

A few lessons from the very gracious Mr. Rogers:

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.”

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”

Kindness doesn’t hurt at all.  There is no pain, just plenty of gain.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know you inspired or made a difference in someone’s life from your kindness.

This past week I helped a friend in the neighborhood who is single, yet quite accomplished in her profession.  She needed help and design advice with her Christmas tree.  It started out as a Charlie Brown tree, but ended up a work of beauty.  Then a funny thing happened, it looked so good and was such a hit, we did a second tree with a wreath thrown in.  Yeah, it was probably a bit early for the decorations, but she left for Houston to spend the Thanksgiving week with her daughter and grandchildren.  She won’t be back until early December, but this way, in some small fashion, she will come back to her house and be welcomed by the spirit of the Holidays.  

Throughout my life I have always ‘tried’ to reach out with some form of kindness to friends, family or neighbors, where we have lived in various places around the country.  In some cases you know, but in many cases you may never know who you inspired, touched or helped through your generosity.  Mr. Rogers would be proud.

I continue to reach out to my best friend who lives in a rather remote area in the Pacific Northwest, who just recently lost her partner of 14 years, and before that her husband of 36 years.  She is depressed and lonely, and my texts and calls help her through this time.  She chose to move to a very isolated town in Washington state, instead of the hustle-bustle of the greater Portland-Vancouver metroplex.  Shopping, healthcare and entertainment are minimal where she lives—but I’m not, I’m there for her.  

But for this next month, it’s on to the much-celebrated holidays with family, friends, and others who bring joy to us and us to them at this time of the year.  So let’s get it on.

Let’s try to “go the extra smile,” even when the traffic snarls, the shopping lines are long and cranky, and the relatives arrive at the house or we’re visitors in theirs.  It takes so little to pass along some kindness to whomever we encounter or spend time with.  Now, it’s off to the nursing home where we are extra kind to the wonderful caregivers, and to my mother and father who have been residents for the past two years.  Such is the task of caring for your senior-senior parents.

It’s time for our household to get ready for the holidays.  So much to be done, so little time, but we are thankful for who and what we have in our lives.  We are going out into the holiday crowds with a smile on our face, and we’re going to enjoy the start of the holiday season.

Here’s wishing you a Happy Holiday from BoomerGal.

Please take the time to pledge a good deed.

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