One glance at the picture above and I am instantly transported to Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. As most of you who have followed me for any length of time already know, I am a big fan of that famous childhood program. I still think the self-improvement fundamentals taught on that show could apply to many adults to this very day. Do you know of anyone who could benefit from watching the episode “What to do when you are mad”? It would appear many of us have either forgotten, or could use a gentle reminder of many of the qualities that make us all good humans.
In today’s social and political climate, it is “You either agree with me or you are evil”. It would seem many of us have forgotten how to be civil to each other. Add to that, many of us do the bulk of our communicating behind a keyboard and it becomes worse. It seems without the personal accountability and responsibility of face to face communication, we do not feel constrained by manners. Social media, ironically, has made us forget how to be properly social. There are terrible acts of violence against each other in the news almost daily. Some are politically motivated, some are completely random. When I come across these items it makes me long for a neighborhood like Mr. Rogers had on his program. One of mutual respect and admiration.
Then it occurred to me. Each of us is responsible for creating this neighborhood. It is in not only teaching the fundamentals that were taught to children on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, but even more importantly, living them. Include people who are different. Learn about them and their culture. Not with a motive to judge, but to understand and appreciate. Learn to respect those whose opinions may be different than those of your own. Learn new skills, sing songs and yes, learn what to do when you are mad. A great way might be to check out some episodes of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Yes, the program was made for children, but the values are just as important, if not more, to adults of today’s world.
Many will say this is wishful thinking. They will argue how much difference can one person spreading kindness and compassion make in a world of people spreading hate and judgement. Can you imagine what a difference it would make if every ‘one person’ who was told that would have taken action? There are roughly 8 billion people on this planet. Can you imagine what it would be like if even 1 out of every 10 decided to indulge in random acts of kindness? Think of the ripple effect and how many people that would affect? Do you know where it starts? It all starts here and with you. Be that one person. Start that ripple effect. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Create your own neighborhood.