blog credit: https://www.saltproject.org/
An ordained Presbyterian minister, Rogers’ ministry took an unconventional form - and his congregation, even after his death, knows no bounds.
Here he is with some classic wisdom on forgiveness. As we slog through this age of pandemic, safe to say we all could use some!
FRED ROGERS ON FORGIVENESS
So many people have asked me, “Do you ever get mad?”
Of course I answer, “Well yes! Everyone gets made sometimes.”
The important thing is what we do with the mad that we feel in life. A few weeks ago, on my way home from a particularly tough day at work, I stopped to see my two grandsons. Their mom and dad weren’t there, but the boys were there with the babysitter in the back yard, squirting water with hoses. I could see that they were really having fun — but I felt I needed to let them know that I didn’t want to be squirted.
So I told them so.
And little by little, I could feel that the older boy, Alexander, was testing the limit, until finally his hose was squirting very close to where I was standing. I said to him in my harshest voice, “OK, that’s it, Alexander. Turn off the water. You’ve had it.”
He did as I told him, said he was sorry, and looked very sad. The more I thought about it, the sadder I got. I realized that Alexander had not squirted me, and that I had stepped into his and his brother’s play, with a lot of feelings left over from work.
So when I got home, I just called Alexander on the phone. I told him I felt awful about my visit with him. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I was taking out my anger from work on him. I told him I was really sorry.
Do you know how he answered me? He said, “Oh Bubba (he calls me Bubba), Oh Bubba, everybody makes mistakes sometimes.”
I nearly cried. I was so touched by his naturally generous heart. And I realized that if I hadn’t called him, I might not have ever received that wonderful gift of Alexander’s sweet forgiveness.