In Part 2, I shared some of Mister Rogers’ words of wisdom from my treasured book, The World According to Mister Rogers. Important Things to Remember. I also included the words to one of Mister Rogers’ best songs, “It’s You I Like.”
I will have the good fortune to attend the Massachusetts chapter of NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) annual early childhood teacher conference later this month. The keynote speaker is the head of the Fred Rogers Foundation. He was prominent in the outstanding documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (available on Netflix. Highly recommended.) I am beyond excited!
Mister Rogers’ words of wisdom (I call them pearls) are among the best. I share with you some of my favorites from my book:
No matter how we change on the outside, we’re still the same on the inside.
The gifts we treasure most over the years are often small and simple. In easy times and in tough times, what seems to matter the most is the way we show those nearest to us that we’ve been listening to their needs, to their joys, and to their challenges.
You bring all you ever were and are to any relationship you have today.
How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by times of fulfillment; that sorrow can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements…and into dreams that we can make come true.
Development comes from within. Nature does not hurry but advances slowly.
More and more I’ve come to understand that listening is one of the most important things we can do for one another. Whether the other be an adult or a child, our engagement in listening to who that person is can often be our greatest gift. Whether that person is speaking or playing or dancing, building or singing or painting, if we care, we can listen.
Play does seem to open up another part of the mind that is always there, but that, since childhood, may have become closed off and hard to reach. When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. We’re helping ourselves stay in touch with that spirit, too. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.
These pearls of wisdom are far beyond childhood. They are life lessons.
Our dear classroom friend, Travis, comes in with his guitar and sings with the children. The children adore him. And, the first song he always sings is, “It’s You I Like.” Children need to hear this over and over again. Mister Rogers knew that. Thank you, Travis.