January 28, 2011

Lessons from Mister Rogers

Okay, so I know Mister Rogers may strike many of us as quaint, yesterday, trite, or maybe even scary (eek! those sweaters!), but I recently read his book and found many little nuggets that I thought many of you might find inspiring or fun as well. Here ya go:

1. A life of spiritual wholeness is represented by looking inward with our hearts (inner disciplines affect how we see others), looking outward with our eyes (how we see others affects how we treat others), and using what we've learned practically, with our hands (serving).

2. Slow down.
-Hurriedness causes the soul to be hard and resistant. But taking time and going slow nurtures the soul.
-Taking one's time, especially in relationships, allows the other person to know he or she is worth the time.

-If we can learn to wait through the "natural silences" of life, we will be surprised by what awaits us on the other side.

3. Be vulnerable.
-Be willing to try new things and keep trying new things even if you aren't good at them.
-Vulnerability is an important quality because it gives others access to our complexity.


4. Feelings are okay.
-You don't have to hide them and there are ways to say how you feel that aren't going to hurt you or anybody else.

5. Be a good neighbor.
-Your neighbor is simply the person you happen to be with at the moment.


6. Forgive.
-Undesirable feelings or behaviors can be rerouted and released into excellence.

7. Hold onto your innocence.
-Appreciate life's mysteries through the eyes of a child - never lose the ability to look at the world through your child's eye.

His favorite quotes:
Gerald Sittser, A Grace Disguised:
We live life as if it were a motion picture. Loss turns life into a snapshot. The movement stops; everything freezes.


Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time:
If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn't need to hate.

Madeleine L'Engle, A Wind in the Door:
Love. That's what makes persons know who they are.


If any of these strikes a chord, then I encourage you to spend some time reflecting on how you can actually integrate the lesson into your day to day life. If this became a value or idea that you held in high esteem, how would your actions, words, or thoughts need to shift in order to honor that?

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