Sunday, March 31, 2013

Because You're Special...

March 20 would have been Fred Rogers' 85th birthday.

I've written before about how fond I was of Mr. Rogers growing up, of his unswerving belief that everyone was special and how important it is that people know and remember that fact. He also talked about the importance of gratitude, of taking the time to think of and thank the people that have encouraged you and made you who you are. In fact, when Rogers won a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys in 1997, he asked everyone in the audience to do just that.

I recently read an article—on Cracked's website, of all places—which listed the five moments that proved Mr. Rogers was the greatest American. While I'm not a fan of comparing one's greatness to another's, I can't dispute the points the article makes. Some have condemned Rogers for teaching tolerance of all people, but we all could benefit from a lot more tolerance in our world today.

Through all of the recent debate about marriage equality, and those who believe that not everyone deserves the right to spend their lives with the person they love, I've struggled a bit. Even though he was a Presbyterian minister, I'd like to believe that Mr. Rogers would stand for love, not the fear of it. And more than anything, I know he'd still be telling people how special they are, and how he feels about them.

So, for whenever you're feeling a little less sure of yourself, here's a reminder from Mr. Rogers that it's you he likes.

There. Doesn't that make you feel better, at least once your eyes stop burning?

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