As time goes by, I wish more and more that each semester of my college years would be just a little bit more like my favorite childhood TV show – Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I could show up to class at 10AM every day with a smile on my face, I would sing my favorite songs, have fun, and learn lessons on morality and integrity. I would have no trouble walking up to a stranger and asking them “Do you want to be my friend?” and having the secure knowledge that everyone in my classes would already be willing to be my friend and we would all get along from the get-go. I would be caring and popular enough in my community to walk into all the places of interest and help educate children on the importance of business and efficiency in the real world. And at the end of the day, I would return home, put on my slippers, and tell those I love that they make my day just by being themselves.
But many people, myself included, so often act the opposite of this moral character. We dress in torn jeans and black hoodies, grumbling about our homework load, and learning about the anthropological views on racism or how to push the spacebar on our keyboards. When we get home at the end of the day, we sit alone in our rooms, still grumbling about homework.
Somehow, it seems that generations are increasingly turning a blind eye to simple goodness, modesty, friendship and even thankfulness. We make personal goals, education, work, or possessions so important to us that we no longer realize the depth of simplicity. That’s right. The depth of simplicity. Simple things like saying “Thank you.”, helping a neighbor just because you can, being a friend, giving out a kind word to a stranger, or truly loving your family… they make you feel like a better person. Why? Because you’re being a better person. And as Mister Rogers would always say… “You are the only person like you. You are unique.” Being unique doesn’t have to be complex. You don’t have to be good at sports, a talented singer, or an astounding public speaker. It’s simple. Simplicity goes a long way when we just be ourselves – the good, honest, and caring people we should be every day.
Maybe it’s time we all learned a little lesson. Maybe we just need a little tap on the shoulder; a little reminder that It’s such a good feeling just to know you’re alive.
Here’s to all the Mister Rogers people out there, who make this world a bit more of a better place to live. Don’t stop.