When I was rising up, there was a presence in my life, 5 days a week that despatched me and others across the nation, messages of kindness. That presence was Mr. Fred Rogers.

Mr. Rogers extolled the virtues of being a person and caring about others, providing everybody, no matter their background and primarily based on their humanity, an invite to “be his neighbor.”

Our discourse in America has modified a lot within the time we now have misplaced Mr. Rogers. From Washington, D.C. to social media and even in firms massive and small throughout the nation, individuals have turn into entrenched in groups and tribes, spewing vitriol and creating division.


Many are holding up an inconceivable customary for any human — agree with me on all the pieces or we are able to’t be pals, co-workers and even household.

Recently, this sentiment of exclusion was directed on the comic, discuss present and recreation present host, Ellen DeGeneres. The reason behind the outrage towards her?

DeGeneres dared to spend time at a Dallas Cowboys soccer recreation, seated subsequent to somebody whom some individuals thought she shouldn’t be speaking to —  former President George W. Bush.

That’s it.

They had been seated subsequent to one another, having enjoyable and smiling, but varied individuals across the web thought it was an excessive amount of and determined it was a cause to be up in arms.  Somehow, the sight of two individuals who share totally different political values but selected to spend time collectively was a cause for on-line outrage.

DeGeneres responded to the social media outrage on Twitter with grace and class (in addition to humor) and used the state of affairs as a teachable second in a video to remind those that if you happen to don’t share somebody’s concepts it doesn’t imply you may’t take into account them a good friend.

She stated, “Here’s the thing: I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have.”

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She continued, “We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s OK. That we’re all different… but just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them.”

At that second, DeGeneres picked up the torch from Mr. Rogers, reminding those that wanted it about humanity and variations being a part of what makes us every particular and our world fascinating.

My favourite a part of her video was how she ended it: “When I say, ‘Be variety to each other,’ I do not imply solely the those that assume the identical manner that you just do. I imply be variety to everybody.”


That’s the important thing; we want to get again to debating concepts as an alternative of tearing down individuals.

Being variety doesn’t imply that you’ve got to agree with all the pieces and even something another person says. Let’s do not forget that the great thing about being a human being is that we’re all totally different and even if you happen to assume somebody has unhealthy concepts, it doesn’t make them a unhealthy particular person.


Hopefully this second will be the primary of many cases the place we hear the message of kindness repeated, as we, to be a United States of America, really want it.

I recognize DeGeneres entering into the Mr. Rogers function. I hope to see many others comply with swimsuit by  being keen to invite others with whom they might disagree with to nonetheless “be their neighbor” on a human stage.

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