Tyler Huckabee, an editor of Relevant magazine, wrote a great article about Mr. Fred Rogers.  I read and enjoyed every word.  It has been eleven years since Mr. Rogers went to heaven.  I miss him and I miss the contribution he made to the lives of our children…and their parents.  Mr. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister who wore cardigans, played with puppets and impacted millions of lives.  Eleven years after his death, he still has an impact.

One of the first things I think of when I think of Mr. Rogers is the word “quiet.”  How could such a quiet, gentle man leave such a huge imprint on the world?  Could it be that we underestimate the power of “quiet wisdom” in our world today?

The article shared some of Mr. Rogers’ most famous quotes.  He often said, “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self.”  King Solomon would agree.  He wrote, “Better is a poor person who walks in his integrity than one who is crooked in speech and is a fool” (Proverbs 19:1).  

Lesson one:  Live honestly, no matter what it costs us in the world because nothing is more valuable than personal integrity.

Fred Rogers once said: “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”  King Solomon said, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed” (Proverbs 19:17).

Lesson two:  If you see someone who has a need, and you have the ability to help – be a hero.  Generosity is your greatest investment in others.

{source}<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”400″ height=”225″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/Upm9LnuCBUM?t=45s?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}The Relevant article mentioned Fred Rogers’ acceptance speech for a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 1997 Emmys.  He was introduced by Tim Robbins as the best neighbor anyone had ever had.  He approached the podium quietly as the applause thundered.  Huckabee wrote, “What happens next is probably singular among award shows.  Mr. Rogers steps up to the microphone, and issues an order. ‘Would you just take, along with me, 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are?  Those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life.   I’ll watch the time.'”  

Huckabee described what happened next:  “At first people chuckle a little—is he serious? But as he looks down at his watch, you can see that he clearly is, and the hall falls silent. And then, as the camera pans the room, you see that he’s working that old magic of his. People are biting their lips. Mascara is running. It took this gentle, kindly host of a children’s program a mere 10 seconds to strip a television award show of its pomp and circumstance, injecting a moment of real, beautiful feeling into it.  Speedy delivery, indeed.”  Mr. Rogers had a way of helping people understand what matters most.

King Solomon had reached the end of his life and wanted to share the wisdom he knew mattered most.  He wrote, “Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).  

Lesson three:  Remember the people who have helped you become wiser and stronger.  (In fact, you might want to take ten seconds right now.)  

There are so many people to be grateful for.  But God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to others.  The apostle Paul said, “God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).  

Fred Rogers was a quiet man who said far more than most.  King Solomon wrote words of wisdom that will be truth forever.  We all have more to share with people than we probably realize.  Everyone can make a difference in the “neighborhood.”

Lesson four:  Remember: we have been blessed so that we can be a blessing to others.    

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of.  There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”
Fred Rogers

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