Mr. Rogers: The Personification of Good

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”   C.S. Lewis

Mr Rogers

I recently saw the documentary on Mr. Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”. I refuse to believe the force of innate goodness that he represented is a thing of the past. There is still a lot of good going on; we just might need to search a bit longer and harder these days. One has to admit that Mr. Rogers’ epitomized everything good: respect and dignity for all people, tolerance, he was an ordained Presbyterian minister, a vegetarian, exercised daily, champion of children and my favorite thing of all was that the sweaters he wore on his TV show were hand knit by his mother. How cool is that? He even chose to wear sneakers on the set because they were quieter – who considers this?

It made me think about individuals in my life who are genuine (the real deal) and those that do things for ulterior motives. It can summed up by those with heart vs. those with no heart. None of us are perfect nor do we want to be, but once you see a Gestalt pattern developing in your behavior and most importantly in those you choose to surround yourself with it is then you can understand the total picture and act accordingly.

It, however, is not black and white or as simple a discovery that you think it should be. So many people are just not genuine in today’s more complex world and more often than not do things to make themselves look good or to ingratiate others to them rather than by  really being kind or genuine in their motivation. They need an audience and often the front they present is very impressive. They have NO heart but want others to think they do; this is extremely important for this type of personality. Proceed cautiously.

It’s a choice; always a choice.

The examples are endless, but here are a few that ‘may’ seem obvious, but may get you thinking as to the real motivation behind the action (it will bust the thin veneer every time):

  • The parent that cheers a bit too loudly at their child’s graduation
  • The friend that says they will be there for you & have your back, but is always MIA
  • Unfilled promises by others and their not understanding or appreciating the meaning of commitment
  • Is the person you are talking to really listening to you?
  • The individual that over pays and over tips or is always picking up the tab
  • Someone who is giving gifts or sending greeting cards to excess yet with no thought
  • The colleague that donates to charities to have their name in lights not anonymously and then proceeds to brag about it
  • One who is designer label driven
  • Or a new favourite of mine is the seemingly ‘nice’ individual who is so wrapped up in their politics that they are just downright mean, rude and inconsiderate of everyone

Though we cannot always be the personification of good, remember as you choose the course and navigate the pathways of your life that there is one certainty: a fake is always uncovered! It’s often not a pretty ending.  It is just the way it is….. Always! 

ETA:   RIP Kelly Blair – a man with a truly kind heart! 8.30.18


Quiet Resolve

A strong women will automatically stop trying if she feels unwanted.  She won’t fix it or beg; she’ll just walk away.
~Chocolate Socrates

time Magazine

Since Time Magazine published their recent Person of the Year cover I have been thinking about Silence Breakers and what a strong woman means to me. I have admired many women in my life for their awesome strength and they have become role models.  Some I have known individually and they have personally influenced me and others I have admired from afar.  I find that most of these women are unassuming, confident, display humility, listen to their intuition, have strong beliefs, feel empathy and are extremely compassionate.  They are not loud, boisterous or in-your-face activists nor are they man haters.  They are authentic, possess immense integrity and are not afraid to show their feelings.  They are not to be reckoned with, however!  From my way of thinking these women share several traits.

Humility– Today’s world is full of arrogance; you see it everywhere and it seems to be most rampant in the sports world. It is not the same thing as strength. I’ve always stressed the need for humility in one’s life and cautioned kids at an early age to display it. I believe it is a ticket to success. A strong woman possesses confidence yet is humble and manifests minimal arrogance. She is grounded and knows what she wants. This often takes great courage as she is willing to walk away from a situation that is no longer in her best interest, to stand up for her beliefs as well as face the challenge of being independent. This by no means indicates that she is not involved actively in a healthy romantic relationship.

Keep Moving -I can’t seem to get away from this mantra.  Yes, she is always moving and is very active both mentally and physically.  She makes her own happiness and isn’t dependent on others for it; she possesses a great sense of balance as she juggles all the balls in the air. 

Intuition– She listens to her own voice yet does not act on impulse.  She has a strong belief that her feelings and concerns are valid and follows her own path.

Believe – A strong woman is kind and compassionate and has no need to use ego in a negative way.  She is vulnerable and not afraid of emotions or sharing them.  She is true to her own feelings.  She loves, respects and accepts herself.  She is a believer!!  In herself and in others.  She is the ‘real thing’ – authentic, genuine, generous, kind with unlimited integrity.  She isn’t afraid of voicing her opinions, but then is able to move on.  She isn’t one to wallow in negativity.  She will show you unlimited and unconditional love and support and is extremely loyal and faithful, but will readily walk away if rejected. She continues life’s beautiful journey with quiet resolve.

The Time Magazine article only touched on sexual harassment. But how many of you women reading this have been emotionally abused, harassed or bullied in your everyday life into doing something you really didn’t want to do or weren’t able to do at that time? “No means no” in all aspects of life; one doesn’t need to give a reason nor made to feel guilty for not responding in a positive way. I don’t want dessert, to join you for dinner tonight or have my picture taken today – all of these examples should just be accepted and not judged; tomorrow is a new day.  It is not a reflection of any personal dynamic just how you might feel at any given moment. It gives one pause when dealing with relationships, family, friends or colleagues as you should not have to do anything that is not comfortable for you. Take a minute to think about this and don’t inadvertently put anybody in this position and if you are placed in it think about how you plan on reacting.

I am in total awe and admiration of strong women and only hope that someday I can join their ranks. We all have different life stories and experiences; what are traits you find strong women share?