I want to grow up to be Mr. Rogers


This is my second post referencing lessons given to us by the legendary Mr. Rogers. I am almost positive that this won’t by my last post quoting him either. Today, I was reading about how science is coming in line with Mr. Rogers’ thinking. We know that emotional intelligence is crucial to life long success and that is exactly what Mr. Rogers taught his viewers. He showed us to how identify and talk about our feelings.

At the end of the piece, it mentioned that Mr. Rogers gave a lesson for nearly every news story we come across.

In one episode from the very first week of the show, the hand-puppet King Friday XIII opposes change. So he decides to build a wall around his kingdom. Some of the other puppets and people float balloons over the wall with messages like LOVE and PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE, warming the king's heart. The wall comes down. - NPR

Now, I will make the disclaimer that this blog is about Simone the person/yoga teacher. It is just me here. I am about to share fully my life experience with our current president and his choices.

My husband worked on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. I believed so much in what she represents and believes that I was willing to share my partner’s talents with her. Bill and I lived apart for months while he worked at the campaign headquarters in Brooklyn. The night of the election we called each other weeping. I felt personally betrayed by our country. I had sacrificed my marriage to better this nation that I love. And what had I gotten in return? A president who spends more time trying to build walls between people than bridges.

Let me get back to Mr. Rogers. In DC, we are currently feeling the effects of a government halted. Folks across this country feel the effects too; but, DC residents are impacted by the federal government’s closure more acutely than most. The shutdown doesn’t make me feel very neighborly toward our president. He has created national chaos over a wall that represents hate and division.

I have found myself floundering to teach in this moment. I have been without inspiration. But this shutdown has introduced several furloughed workers to yoga. Folks who normally don’t have the time to practice are finding themselves in classes looking to calm frayed nerves. So what message should I bring to this moment?

Love. Compassion. Acceptance.

Mr. Rogers was a minister and a true Yogi in the way he lived his life. He said that his mission was to convey as much love as he could in every episode hoping that it would reach one child in need. These are the same teachings as Yoga. There is no need to reinvent the wheel with a new theme or inspiring quote. I only need to show up and offer as much love, compassion, and acceptance as I can.