“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Mister Rogers
Have you ever wanted to turn back the clock and travel back in time to a period when life felt a bit slower and simpler? Have you ever wished for us to live in a world that was more Mister Rogers than the world we live in today?
Friday night felt like a perfect night. I was cuddled up on the sofa in front of a warm, cozy fire. My friend Dave, who’s been like a brother to me, was by my side. We ordered a pizza – a yummy thin crust pizza covered in cheese topped off with my delicious artichoke hearts. We were getting ready to watch Tom Hanks in the Mister Rogers movie. My sweet puppy Moxie was busy rustling around with Dave’s pup Rudy.
It was pouring rain outside, a blustery, chilly evening, which only made things feel even more perfect. We settled in and began to watch the movie. It wasn’t long before the movie was tugging at our heart strings. Just what we needed at the end of a tumultuous week.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about Mister Rogers – about how we need Mister Rogers now more than ever before. His physical presence may be gone but his lessons live on. His lessons and his wisdom are timeless. They are filled with Moxie just as he was full of Moxie.
This world is in need of Moxie.
I’ll admit I was startled by what I saw this past week. The mounting fear. The ensuing panic and chaos. The hoarding. The “me first” mentality – the opposite of Moxie – the opposite of Mister Rogers, his lessons and the essence of what he stood for – community, connection, empathy and compassion.
His “we first” attitude is the opposite of what we’re seeing in the global world we now live in – a world that’s forever linked together.
The essence of Mister Rogers’ message was asking us to see every single person as our neighbor. It wasn’t a “me first” attitude but a “we first” attitude. It wasn’t about hoarding. It was about sharing. It wasn’t about judging. It was about compassion. It wasn’t about scarcity. It was about service. It wasn’t about fear. It was about love.
Real love. Authentic love. Self love.
Love of Self.
Oh, it’s easy to get swept into the chaos. Really easy for those of us who aren’t firmly centered – grounded in who we are and in what matters most.
What isn’t easy – what takes Moxie – is to be the calm amidst the storm. What isn’t easy is to stop only focusing on ourselves and begin focusing on our neighbor as well.
The past couple weeks, I’ve been retreating. Pulling back from social media. Pulling back from everything.
I felt off. Off balance. Off center. Not myself.
It took some time for me to find me again – to find my center.
I’m an empath. Even though I wasn’t in fear, I could feel the collective fear. I could feel the chaos. That was pulling me off center. I needed to find a way back.
Fear has a way of knocking us off center.
The truth is, if we are in fear, we can’t help anyone – not ourselves. Not our neighbors.
The truth is, this world doesn’t need more fear, what this world needs is more love. Not in words but in action.
We must be the change. We must be the calm in the midst of chaos. We must begin to see our neighbor as ourselves – to see that we are all connected and far stronger together.
We must be aware that when we begin moving into the mode of “me first,” it’s an opportunity to shift into “we first” and to ask how we can serve, how we can be better, how we can do better – how we can shift from fear into love – how we can reach out to our neighbor – next door or virtually around the globe – and to remember that we are a force of character.
Feeling scared is natural. Feeling fear is natural. Mister Rogers was all about feeling – feeling our feelings – doing something about those feelings that feel like they might overwhelm us. He taught us that negative feelings – feelings like anger, fear, anxiety – don’t have to lead to hurting anyone – not ourselves and not our neighbors. He taught us a healthy way to deal with our feelings. He taught us how to feel good – about ourselves and about others.
He taught us, when we felt scared, to look for the helpers – to be the helper.
He taught us to be mindful. He taught us to be kind.
It takes Moxie to be mindful and to be kind in the midst of a storm. It takes Moxie to stay centered. It takes Moxie to choose love over fear. It takes Moxie to be a good neighbor.
Cheers Beauties – I believe the world needs Mister Rogers now more than ever.
Won’t you be my neighbor? I would love to be yours.
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