Fred Rogers: One Silent Minute
An extraordinary documentary on the life and work of Fred Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, is making the rounds these days. It’s a masterpiece in its own right, not to be missed - and it ends with a lovely homage to a famous Mister Rogers moment.
The moment’s not from the sweet, challenging, and revolutionary children’s show many of us grew up watching, but instead from Rogers’ 2002 Commencement Address at Dartmouth College. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister whose ministry knew no bounds. And in honor of the International Day of Friendship this coming Monday, July 30, here’s a pretty amazing gift from an old friend.
Fred put it like this:
I’d like to give you all an invisible gift. 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. And I feel that you deserve quiet time, on this special occasion, to devote some thought to them. So, let’s just take a minute, in honor 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 times, you remember how important they are to you. It’s not the honors and the prizes, and the fancy outsides of life 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.
Now it's your turn - go on - do it! Take a minute! Do it for Fred, for International Day of Friendship, for your friends, for your soul. But do it.
We promise you’ll be glad you did!