“One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self…”

Yesterday marked the birthday of one of the greatest minds in the history of everything; Mr. Rogers.

Yes, Mr. Rogers was a freaking genius. He believed in handling things in his life with quiet honesty, talking to children like they were actual people, and helping them understand the world with gentle guidance and patience, something the modern world is missing. Mr. Rogers was a genuinely good man, who loved God, wore sweaters made by his mother and was devoted to his wife until his passing in 2003. He was arguably one of the most beautiful souls on Earth and I’m so glad his family decided to continue his legacy by recreating the world of make believe on Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, a favourite of my three year old.

Mr. Rogers believed that kids could spot a phoney from a mile away, which is true (nothing is crueller IMO than hurting a child. If a child truly loves you, adores you, and thinks you’re special and you hurt them or walk out on them, then you should reevaluate who you are as a person, because you’re probably horrible), so he opted to be as honest and kind as he could, so that children knew he cared about them. He taught them such things as it’s okay to get mad, as long as we don’t hurt people. It’s okay to be hurt and it’s okay to feel sad. Mr. Rogers helped kids to understand that it’s okay to have feelings.

Mr. Rogers also believed that love was the most important thing ever. He said the greatest lesson we could teach someone is that we love them and that they were capable of being loved and giving love, something we as adults lost somewhere along the way. One thing that he wanted to remind people was “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” Another lesson lost on adults. Sometimes, we love people. Sometimes, they suck. Sometimes, you suck. Sometimes, we all suck. But we expect everyone to understand our flaws while rejecting the other person’s. We expect perfection while demanding acceptance.

Maybe I really am just a naive person with a child-like outlook @ the world, but I like how Mr. Rogers looks @ things. It’s okay to be angry/sad/kooky/batsh*t crazy and you’re still worthy of being loved. You’ll eff up royally and you still deserve to be loved and you can still love people even when they aren’t perfect. In fact, it’s totally okay. All of your emotions are valid and it’s okay to talk about them and kindness works so much better than cruelty. It just all sounds so much better than tearing each other apart, driving people away and doing terrible things to one another. I think I’d like the world a lot better if we adopted Mr. Rogers’s school of thought, maybe we would enjoy being neighbours.