A close friend of mine gave me a book a while ago, “The World According to Mr. Rogers.”
Few people know about my fascination with stories and lessons for children. There’s a whole other world inside the mind of a child that isn’t just innocent and clean, but creative and imaginative, unafraid to ask the very tough questions in simple terms. And I admire those who can appreciate that and celebrate it, like Mr. Rogers.
In it, he talks about a woman, Helen Ross, a good friend of his who taught doctors, teachers, and consulted with professionals that work with children and families. Directly from the book:
She was one of the great people of our age in the understanding of the dynamic development of human beings. After one operation for cancer and some subsequent therapy, Helen chose to refuse treatment when her cancer reappeared. One day when I visited her, I found Helen very frail, yet interested in all that I had to tell her about our television work and her Pittsburgh friends. Some of the time I just held her hand and we said nothing. We didn’t have to.
After one of those silences, Helen said to me, “Do you ever pray for people, Fred?”
“Of course I do.” So I said, “Dear God, encircle us with Thy love wherever we may be.”
And Helen replied, “That’s what it is, isn’t it? -it’s love. That’s what it’s all about.”
Helen was eighty-eight when she died. She had spent most of her adult life working at understanding the complexities of human growth and development, and her summation of life was that love is what it’s all about.
We are at a very volatile place right now with many issues surfacing socially around the world. We speak of conservatives, liberals, democrats, republicans, of “the poor” and “the 1 percent” as if we were a different species against each other. We’re all at war in one way or another as soon as we pick a side. Guns or no guns? Weed or no weed? Media censorship, gay marriage, equality in the workplace, drugs, Christianity.
Let’s ban eyeglasses, because if God made you with poor vision you should stay that way. Let’s ban coffee because it leads to being over-productive. Screw shopping carts, they just support consumerism!
Rich people, stop being so greedy because if we knew that you were spending your money on building orphanages or hospitals instead of diamond-bedazzling your toilets, we might actually support you. See? We can always find something to complain about, it’s not complaining that takes all the effort. Right now I am sitting at a Starbucks semi-listening to two guys talk about what they were going to do with their bonuses, and let’s just say it is quite dumb, yes offense. The bathroom smells like poop, but that’s standard because duh, they sell coffee here, and they messed up my order twice. Wow, that was easy. But seriously, who cares?
There is a crisis in the Philippines right now, and people died. Help them.
Today we celebrate Veteran’s Day. Remember them.
People all over the world are doing so. They’re donating, smiling, helping, searching, rebuilding, liberating, and smiling. Imagine if a group of the most intelligent and resourceful people met up for ONE day to solve ONE problem that the world has. Wow..
It isn’t all bad, but it still makes me sad to know that we’ve built so many walls from the bricks of our own views that stop us from seeing what is really there. They’re other people, just like us.