Do you remember Mr. Rogers?
I remember him, his beautiful days in the neighborhood and, perhaps most vividly, his grandpa sweaters. I also remember an old quote of his, and it’s stuck with me for as long as I can remember:
“Sometimes, all it takes is one kind word to nourish another person. Think of
the ripple effect that can be created when we nourish someone. One kind
empathetic word has a wonderful way of turning into many.”
I think this sentiment struck me because it rings so true, particularly as I watch my brothers and sisters raise their children. As parents, they all work so tirelessly to ensure that their children are growing up to be kind, polite individuals (and they are doing so beautifully), but Mr. Rogers does such a beautiful job of summing it up simply: Be kind. Be aware of the power of words. Be good.
Children, in all of their earnestness and innocence, learn by example; thanks to this fact of life, my 11 nieces and nephews have learned how to express their gratitude with a beautiful note, a kind word and a big hug. They have each absorbed this attentiveness to gratitude over time, but it never ceases to amaze me.
Just this past week, I received messages from two of my aunts about the thank you notes that my sister Jennifer’s children had sent to certain family members after our annual softball tournament, the Schreiber Slugfest. (Sidenote: I did not warn Jennifer or her husband, Jeff, about this post so… SURPRISE! Your children are awesome!) Anyway, my Aunts were kind enough to a.) tell me about these notes, as I was unable to travel back to the Midwest for Slugfest this year and b.) scan some of the cards for the blog.
The thank-you notes are such a refreshing reminder that even just a few kind words can make a meaningful impact. So, many thanks to Jennifer and Jeff for raising such wonderful children, many thanks to my two Aunts M and T for making the effort to reach out and forward along the handwritten cards and, as always, thank you for reading!