Much more the same
“As different as we are from one another, as unique as each one of us is, we are much more the same than we are different.” — Fred Rogers
Perhaps Mr. Rogers touched so many hearts because he understood this truth. All of us have fears, sorrows, flaws and deficits. Each of us has hopes, dreams, abilities and gifts. When I remember this, it’s easier to care about people, and harder to be angry with them.
It has been more than twelve years now since Mr. Rogers left the neighborhood he created for us, but his legacy lives on. A few months before he died, he recorded this beautiful message to us, which my nephew Ryan sent me recently when it was re-broadcast. I wanted to share it with you, along with some of my favorite words of wisdom from a man whose gentle strength continues to influence my life.
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for our children (and for each other) is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
“Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.”
“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 wish you a beautiful day in your neighborhood!