So, you may or may not know, but I adore Mister Rogers. I grew up watching Mister Roger’s Neighborhood (Speedy Delivery!) and I love just about everything he stands for. Because of him, I support public television and radio and I have ensured that my girls know Mister Rogers and Daniel Tiger.
I adore him.
In an effort to support his legacy, I purchased this color-changing mug last year and sent one to both of my sisters. (See above.)
It’s great. When the mug is hot, his sweater changes color. Boom. Cool.
(Did you know that the sweaters he changes into on the show were knitted by his Mom? Sigh. “That’s the best thing about things, they remind you of people.” Watch Mister Rogers talk about his sweaters here.)
So, I’m a green tea-drinker. I don’t drink coffee. (I’ve never been able to get past the taste, though I do love the aroma.) I keep the mug above at my office and drink out of it everyday, all day. (I drink out of a Mary Poppins mug at home.) At the end of the work day, I rinse and place my Mister Rogers mug back in the office kitchen cupboard. (I should probably clean it more often…) Then, the next morning, I repeat my process of getting the mug, filling it up and drinking more green tea.
This is what I do.
The other day I walked into the office and a co-worker was using my mug.
NOTE: I have even brought a few extra mugs from my house to proactively diffuse this possibility. Need some coffee or tea? No worries! I brought a mug from home for you to use and enjoy! Just, please, use a DIFFERENT mug, not my Mister Rogers mug.
So I proceed to have a conversation with this sweet person; this friend. Ya’ll, this person is holding my mug and drinking from it in front of me.
No words are spoken.
Whatever silent communication is occuring is completely one-sided. I’m hitting a brick wall here.
I go back to my desk.
I stew a little.
I’m asking myself, “WHO drinks out of someone else’s mug? This is just so weird.”
Meanwhile, I shake up my routine (which is really probably a good thing) and use the cheetah mug that I brought to the office for other people to use and I drink my tea.
It then occurs to me: Mister Rogers would let any of his neighbors use his mug. No questions asked.
The irony of it all.
A mug that has kind words written all of it…
A mug that features the sweetest man on the planet. (The same man who was a vegetarian because he “never would eat anything that has a mother.”)
I’m frustrated about this mug that symbolized neighborliness and wanted to keep it for myself when in reality, the gentleman on the mug would selflessly let anyone use it.
Sigh. Just another reminder that Mister Rogers was an angel and I am so very flawed.
I moved on and realized I was being a selfish baby.
Sometimes life is about realizing that you’re the jerk.
Sometimes a cup of tea in a different cup is all the perspective you need.
A while back I read the book, I’m Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan. I pored over the pages of this book in awe of the kindness, selflessness and love that Mister Rogers had shown to just one random person. Ask Craig. While I was reading it, I would audibly sigh again and again. I may have cried a little.
Mister Rogers was the real deal.
He invested in people and expected nothing in return.
He loved so selflessly.
He was such a pure light of God’s love.
READ THIS BOOK, friends. This spotlight on friendship, on kind words, on healing… it’s moving beyond words and makes me realize that angels do exist on earth.
I have a feeling this is an annual re-read for me. I highlighted so much in this one.
There is a mention of this quote by Henri Nouwen, the celebrated author, in the Tim Madigan book: “That which is most personal is most universal” and that line… oh, it filled my heart. YES! That which is most personal, oh man, is the most relatable.
THAT is what this blog has been for me over the years… I’ve shared the personal, the stuff I wouldn’t share with just anyone, but I’ve found that the deeper I share, the more relatable it is for everyone else. When we share, we realize that everyone is in it together.
There’s such beauty in that; knowing that we aren’t doing life alone. (I learned so much about this when I shared the experience of losing my Mom. The many people who came out of the internet woodwork to say, “I understand. I’ve been there.” was overwhelming, in a lovely, solidarity-esque way.)
Once, Mister Rogers said in a letter to Tim Madigan, “…I’m convinced fewer and fewer can escape major suffering in this life. The kingdom of God is for the broken hearted.”
And this one, I love it.
“Fred wanted to know the truth of your life, the nature of your insides, and he had room enough in his own spirit to embrace without judgement whatever that truth…”
YA’ll. THAT IS GOLD.
A friend loves at all times. A friend always has time. A friend always listens without judgement. YES.
Mister Rogers lived his legacy.
He lived what he believed.
(I want to do that, too.)
I want everyone reading this blog to know that they are LOVED and that YOU, you matter. I also want you to know that I will always share with you the important details of life: most notably when I find a great mascara that features safe ingredients.
I want you to know that just as you are, you are loved.
If haven’t already, take a minute and watch this trailer about the Mister Rogers movie coming out in June.
Isn’t he great?
Note: I just bought this sweatshirt for myself and I will wear it proudly. Lila wanted the t-shirt version, so I bought her one.
Vivi? She wanted this one that shows Mr. Rogers face. I mean, go big or go home.
*Note: I’m an amazon affiliate. The only amazon-affiliate link I’ve shared is the one for the book. The others are direct links. What is an amazon affiliate? This means that if you decide to buy the book through the link, I’ll get a small commission for introducing it to you.
Another note: I just ordered these off of usps.gov.