You can’t talk about kindness and not mention Mister Rogers. Earlier this year I had the privilege of listening to Carvell Wallace’s podcast titled, “Finding Fred.” I learned about the podcast through author friend, Jennifer Gafford, who wrote a children’s seek-and-find style book called, “Finding Feelings.” It is excellent and you can check it out here: https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Feelings-Jennifer-Gafford/dp/1645434303/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=finding+feelings&qid=1626031720&sr=8-1
Mr. Wallace used 10 episodes to showcase why Mister Rogers was so profound and what he really managed to accomplish on public television over the course of his 900 episodes. He referred to Fred Rogers as the “empathy genius.” Think about that for a minute…An Empathy Genius! I love that. He was able to model kind and empathetic behaviors, without saying that he was doing it.
I think we all have a tendency to speak more words, especially to children, than might be necessary. You can talk about kindness until you are blue in the face, but children know who is kind and unfortunately who isn’t, through our actions.
Think about your elementary or junior high school experience. Did you have a favorite teacher? Did you have a least favorite teacher? When I think of my favorite teachers, I loved them because they seemed to care about me and love their jobs. When I think of my least favorite teachers, I remember thinking that they didn’t like me, or anyone else in the class for that matter. They seemed annoyed and angry. Kids are so perceptive and they know who really cares and who doesn’t. Even as adults, we are more likely to work harder for a boss or coworker who we trust and who we know appreciates and cares about us. When they say, “Actions speak louder than words,” they really weren’t kidding.
We all have our days, good days and bad days. We can’t always be Susie Sunshine and THAT IS OK. Recognizing a tough day or moment and then moving on is half the battle. Last weekend, we spent the holiday with my husband’s family. Just immediate family, we are at 19 people. That’s a lot of people all together for a long weekend. For some reason, I had a rotten attitude when we first got there. No real reason, but I couldn’t shake it. I told my husband that I was going to go walk off my bad attitude. For 30 minutes I walked, breathed, and listened to an audiobook. It helped me reset and I was ready for the weekend. I acknowledged something was bothering me and made a plan to change it. I could have easily sat and stewed, but that personality isn’t that fun to be around.
I encourage all of you to check out the podcast, “Finding Fred” and listen to the stories shared. You will laugh. You will cry. But more importantly, you will feel good after listening to each episode.
During speeches/presentations, Mister Rogers would often ask people to stop and think about a kind person in their life. To send out that positivity by thinking about them and how they impacted your life. I challenge you to do the same today. Think about that kind person. Even better, send that person a message that you were asked to think about someone kind and that you thought of them.
Wishing you a kind and happy Monday. Thank you for reading.