April 4, 2015

Yesterday, I was moved watching the  movie, "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood". It's message of kindness and respect was particularly meaningful to me at this moment of tribal division in our nation. So I decided to post this edited of my earlier post.


I cannot recall ever watching testimony more impactful than this which saw Mr. Rogers testifying before Senator Pastore's Committee in 1969 in support of  public funding for public television. 

 I find it almost unique in the utter and transparent genuineness of Mr. Rogers care and love for children and in his commitment to make their lives full.  There is not one false note in the six minutes of his testimony.  Nothing was being said to make a point. It was an expression of Mr. Rogers deepest beliefs and they struck a moral and logical chord and that was why they made the sale. 

It also showcases the mutual trust and respect Mr. Rogers had for the Committee Chair, Senator Pastore, and that Senator Pastore had for Mr. Rogers, evidenced above all by the intensity in the way the Senator listened. It shows the self confidence and humanity of Senator Pastore, a man noted as he rightfully said for his toughness, as he opens his mind to what he is hearing and declares himself on the spot in support of Mr. Rogers request. 

I have often told the story of how I responded to a young P&G employee's question of how she could make a difference in such a big company, filled with so many smart people.

I told her:

-Find an idea which you believe can make a big difference. 
-Learn all you can about it, get help from other experts, seek evidence it will work,.
-Go to whomever has to approve it and present it WITH ALL OF YOUR MIND AND ALL OF YOUR HEART.
-Be prepared even having done that extremely well for the first answer to be, "but we tried that before", or "we can't afford this right now".
-This is the "moment of truth". You need to listen very carefully. With respect and an open miND. Maybe you will conclude the idea isn't as good as you thought, or maybe you've heard something that can make it better, but also MAYBE THIS IS A BIG IDEA. YOU MAY NEED TO KEEP COMING BACK, BENEFITING FOM THE INPUT  WITH MORE EVIDENCE AND MORE HEART. 

For I told the young woman, this is the only way I have seen really big ideas  happen. 
I was reminded of my conversation with this young woman as I watched Mr. Rogers...because I don't recall ever seeing a better example of a person presenting what 
they believe in deeply with more of their mind and heart than this-- and with a respect for the listener that made what he said all the more effective. 

There is a message in here for all of us.  

For those many of you who are  too young to know Mr. Rogers here is a brief recap of his career and his children's program.

Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American educator,  Presbyterian  minister, songwriter, author, and television host. Rogers was most famous for creating and hosting  Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968–2001), which featured his gentle, soft-spoken personality and directness to his audiences. [1]
Initially educated to be a minister, Rogers was displeased with the way television addressed children and made an effort to change this when he began to write for and perform on local  Pittsburgh-area shows dedicated to youth.  Over the course of three decades on television, Fred Rogers became an indelible American icon of children's entertainment and education, as well as a symbol of compassion, patience, and morality. [2] He was also known for his advocacy of various public causes. 
Rogers received the  Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees, [4] and a  Peabody Award. He was inducted into the  Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time. [5] Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the  Smithsonian Institution displays one of his  trademark sweaters as a "Treasure of American History".

Thanks, John

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