Who will you think of?

I had a real-life encounter with Mr. Rogers, and a post on Just Thinking reminded me of this.

He was the guest speaker at a public televison conference I attended. (Former life, former job.*) We thought he was going to teach us about children’s television programming, how to market the shows, and how to create more innovation in education and programming. We had our notebooks and pens ready. There were thousands of people there from all over the world waiting for a talk. He did something quite different instead.

He asked each one of us to close our eyes, and think of the one person who has helped us get to the place we are right now. Then, he set his watch for 2 minutes, and asked us to silently hold that person in our minds and to thank that person. He said, “Don’t worry about anything else — there’s nothing else you have to do, no place you have to be, for these next 2 minutes.”

What was most surprising was not “What is he doing?” It was, “who” came to my mind. Before my eyes shut, I knew exactly who that person would be. But as soon as my lashes hit my cheeks, someone entirely different popped into my head. I can’t even remember who it was now, and it doesn’t really matter.

When his talk was over, we all had empty notebooks, and tears in our eyes. Our hearts were full with a mission to create such a moment for someone else.

Do this sometime. It might suprprise you who pops into your head, and how it changes your day — for the better.

Watch Fred’s testimony before the Senate in 1969 — moving.

*Funny how, now, I strive NOT to make TV a part of my children’s life. And it has nothng to do with Fred.

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One comment to “Who will you think of?”
  1. fred rogers is always someone who comes to mind when I think about the people who help me feel safe and whole in my life. though i never met him, i spent thirty minutes to an hour with him every weekday of my childhood (an hour because in the summer i could watch him back to back on two PBS stations). thank you for sharing this story…just what i needed to read this morning.

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