Mickey Z. -- World News Trust
July 5, 2018
Confession: I never watched Mister Rogers Neighborhood as a child. I’m not sure why but perhaps my big sister was already too old for the show and — in the days of a single black-and-white TV in the living room — you watched what everyone else was watching.
Later in life, like a typical programmed male, I came to see Mister Rogers as a wimpy punch line, e.g. I laughed my ass off at Eddie Murphy’s mean-spirited SNL skits of “Mister Robinson’s Neighborhood.”
Then, about a month ago, this documentary opened in NYC:
Can you say E P I P H A N Y, boys and girls?
I wept all the way through the film, came home to begin giving myself a crash course in Fred Rogers, and realized I finally had a pop culture male role model worth living up to.
It’d be impossible to fully explain what this discovery has meant to me but, if you’ve read my writing over the years, you can probably figure out some of it out. Let’s face it, I’ve regularly — and justifiably — exposed many of the myriad sordid elements of male supremacy (and how I fell for some of these tropes). I’d long given up on ever finding even one high profile “good” man to admire.
Right on cue, Fred Rogers walked in the door — singing and changing into his sweater and tennis shoes.
Unlike other “experts” or “geniuses,” Rogers lays no claim to a school of thought. He didn’t seem to have any need to create or own a philosophy. As a result, none of us require a Ph.D. in anything to instantly appreciate his words and put them into practice. So, in lieu of me using more of my words to go on and on about him, I’ll present Fred’s own words in the hope they will move you as they’ve moved me to think and evolve… and then act on all that thinking and evolving.
6 Urgent Reminders from Mister Rogers
1. Be a helper
"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.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world… I hope you're proud of yourself for the times you've said 'yes,' when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to somebody else."
2. Keep it simple
"I feel so strongly that deep and simple is far more essential than shallow and complex."
“When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”
“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone… Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”
5. Be mindful
“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully, your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”
6. Be love
"As you grow, I trust that you are finding many more ways to show and tell people that you love them. Those are the most important things that you'll ever learn to do. Because loving people and animals and the world we live in is the most important part of being alive."
With that message in mind, I can suddenly say: When I close my eyes for 10 seconds and think about those who’ve helped me, I now include Fred Rogers on this essential and wonderful list.
Mickey Z. is the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on the streets of New York City. To help him grow this project, CLICK HERE and make a donation right now. And please spread the word!
6 Ways to Make Mister Rogers Proud by Mickey Z. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://worldnewstrust.com/6-ways-to-make-mister-rogers-proud-mickey-z.