I’ve been struggling lately with words and how we use them. As I’ve mentioned before, words of affirmation are one of my love languages. But there are a lot of people who aren’t comfortable with words or saying nice things and I’ve been trying to adjust to that a little bit in my social life lately. But even more than that, I’ve been trying to tone down what I see as a professional hazard…I am an educational coach–which means that I’ve spent most of my professional life working with people in situations where they are uncomfortable–and it’s my job to make them feel at ease, comfortable, and encouraged. What happens is that spills over in the rest of my life and people end up thinking I’m being quite patronizing, when really I’m just…I don’t know, attuned to trying to be encouraging.
If I could be like anyone, though, I often think I would like to be like Mister Rogers. Lately I’ve been reading stuff about him and I often end up quite teary eyed. I like that he was encouraging without ever seeming patronizing. That he genuinely cared about people, and that children, including myself when I was young, felt respected, loved, and encouraged when watching him.
Today when I saw this video, which I’m sure so many of you have already seen, I felt something bloom in my heart. I guess in a way it’s my responsibility to surround myself with people who are encouraging and who make me want to be better. There’s a wealth of cynicism, criticism (and I’m not saying that criticism is bad, it’s all in how it’s delivered), degradation, hatred, fear, etc. out there. But genuine kindness and goodness is so hard to find. I hope that I can be the kind of person that genuinely encourages people, that they will know that I love them, and that we can spur one another on towards love and good deeds.