Mister Rogers Tribute – Mr Rogers Remixed
Neighborhood Lessons by L. Samsarah Morgan
I was recently blessed to read an article about one of my Childlife’s heros, Fred Rogers. Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister and musician as well as the creator of Mister Rodger Neighborhood. Mister Rogers Neighborhood was a remarkable children’s program which graced television from 1951-2002.
There are no words for the importance this program played in my life. I would race home from school – because I didn’t want to miss the part where Mr. Rogers would tell me that of all the people in the world, there was only one me – one precious irreplaceable me. He would say that he was happy to see me and that he was so happy that I was his neighbor.
Every episode of Mr. Rogers offered me an opportunity to escape, to travel to another world. The world, the neighborhood of make believe, was a place with all manner of people ( and animals) trying to care, understand, and work together. These folks weren’t perfect – in fact sometimes they were quite a problem. But the citizen of this land all loved and respected each other. And it was that love that caused them to do their best to communicate with one another and to resolve their conflicts.
Later in my life, after I’d begun my own journey of self-discovery and healing. I came to realize that a gift I had been given in this simple, honest and loving program. I realized how this hour with Mr. Rogers was a haven for my self esteem and a haven for my bruised and battered child soul.
Look in the mirror said Mr. Rodgers, see how perfectly wonderful you are. I looked and believed – and was nurtured.
Children are outrageously resourceful. When their parents re either unable or unwilling to meet their needs. Their psyche’s will attempt satisfaction elsewhere. This is of course a poor substitute for the touch, words, and energy of their parents, extended family and community. But the soul seeks food and it will do the best it can – be it a television program, or over eating or a gang or genuine love – nature hates a vacuum…. Just as s growing body will take in junk food – if that’s all that available and seek to do the best it can with it. The child’s souls soul will bond with “junk emotions”.
As I read the article, I found myself grieving for wondering about out young ones today. Where do they turn? When parents are distressed or dysfunctional, who will say the life affirming words? “I am so glad you are here? There is no one else like you?”
I am in no way blaming parents. In my opinion, parents are more distracted and distressed than ever before. The demands of work and the challenge of providing even the most basic level of care for their children can easily take precedence over what our children really need. Which is ourselves, our care and our time. What they need is us: parents and extended family and entire communities. They need us to put their needs first, even when we are stressed out tired and overwhelmed. They need up to tell them, over and over again. “ I love you. I am so glad you are here. I am so glad you are my child. No matter what you have done – I forgive you. No matter my worries – you are not the cause of them”
Doing this is not easy. It certainly wasn’t for me as a young parent. And I in no way did it perfectly – but I gave it my very best effort. And now, for my grandchildren, I am pledged to e assist their parents desire to meet the seemingly never ending needs of the human child. I am also devoted to learning all I can and sharing it with my own children and community.
There is a rarely spoken of secret about parenting. And it is this – that as one devoted themselves to the art of parenting, as one tirelessly and fearlessly attends to the needs of young ones- they are at the same time developing their own character. The soul of the conscious parents deepens and the mind expands. Done with Grace, parenting is the most profound voyage of self discovery one can take. And the result of our conscious parenting can help heal our own childhood wound, bless our children and this world.
I imagine a world where everyone holds as a truth these facts.
I am loved an loveable.
I am good.
I am intelligent.
I am worthy.
I have talents.
I am unique. In all of the world – there is no one else exactly like me.
All the world is my neighborhood.