8 minutes | Nov 26, 2019

Ep. 52 - "Graceful Receiving"

Pretty much all of us appreciate that Mr. Rogers related to young children in ways that were truly, genuinely, unquestionably meaningful to kids.

Children’s innate radar for what is True, what is Real was never a stumbling block for Mr. Rogers… because connecting with children, with their hearts, with their spirits was as natural to him as breathing … because, truly, he “saw” each child he met, saw how to BE with each child… how to BE with them so they felt the truth of their own unique significance, of their own unique mattering …

Mr. Rogers was profoundly, uncommonly respectful of young children… and one of those ways was in what he calls ‘graceful receiving.’

Because this is November, the time of year, in the U.S., when we celebrate Thanksgiving, I’m hoping that you’ll appreciate these words from the good and pure heart of Fred Rogers about the gentle art of graceful receiving …

With his living example, he shares some of the highest wisdom we need to live as an example for our students’ social emotional learning … because, in alignment with the Golden Rule, who of us would not like to be received the way he intended to receive all people… whatever their age?

And…. who among us doesn’t know what a challenge it is to truly receive others for exactly who they are? I’ve worked on that challenge all of my adult life … and I’m fully aware of what a major challenge it is, but when I manage to catch myself in judgment mode, and I manage to open up and just BE with a child, or a relative, or a peer WITHOUT judgement, with simple and graceful receiving … the way that shift in my mindset affects others, is hugely rewarding… yet, in all honesty… I am the one who is the greatest beneficiary… because I am the one who has freed up my mind and limiting pre-conceptions to really hear, to really see the children and others in my world.

Of course, really receiving people… receiving them for who they are… exactly as they are … is not something we DO, so much as something we DON’T DO… something we step aside and let BE, and it’s not so much an emotional response, as it is a choice we make. We can choose to “receive” each child, each other… or we can choose to not receive each child, each other —to take each other for granted… or to NOT take each other for granted.”

And, I hope you won’t think of this episode as a lecture… but much more as a reminder… because with life as intense as it is, with ALL of our energy required to deal with ALL that we’re dealing with… we ALL need reminders… me, most definitely.

A reminder, too, about an unfortunate distortion of graceful receiving: false enthusiasm, or forced expressions of positivity and appreciation.  Mistakes in the right direction, perhaps, but definitely mistakes, because kids know what’s real from what’s not real, even if they don’t consciously know that they know… THEY KNOW.

And the most respectful way  we can treat children is to acknowledge the fact of their innocent intelligence and their natural born wisdom by being fully present with them… so that their innate intelligence and wisdom can gain a stronghold and flourish throughout their lives

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