Fred Rogers was a Presbyterian minister who introduced generations of young children to ideas of kindness, diversity, peace, and even death and grief through his television show, Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood.
During these days of pandemic, here is an activity in which we can take part, one of the many gifts he gave to us. This gift comes not from the popular television show, but from a commencement address he gave at Dartmouth College. As we receive this gift, we think of the many students who will have to forgo graduation ceremonies this year.
Here is the gift: “I’d like to give you all …a gift of a silent minute to think about those who have helped you become who you are today.
Some of them may be here right now.
Some may be far away.
Some, like my astronomy professor, may even be in heaven.
But wherever they are, if they’ve loved you, and encouraged you, and wanted what was best in life for you, they’re right inside your self. So let’s just take a minute, in honour of those that have cared about us all along the way.
One silent minute…
Whomever you’ve been thinking about, imagine how grateful they must be, that during your silent time, you remember how important they are to you.
It’s not the honours and the prizes, and the fancy outsides which ultimately nourish our souls.
It’s the knowing that we can be trusted.
That we never have to fear the truth.
That the bedrock of our lives, from which we make our choices, is very good stuff.”
One silent minute …
Revs. Bob and Helen