From the Publisher’s Desk: Embracing the words of Fred Rogers

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Fred Rogers in the late 1960s, courtesy Wikipedia.

Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered . . . just one kind word to another person.

— Fred Rogers

Last week, I was listening to a local radio program and the topic was the legacy left behind by the late Fred Rogers.

Colleagues who worked with the founder of the long-running Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show shared two favorite messages from Fred Rogers that resonated with me:

Be Kind

Go Slow

It’s easy to say Be Kind, but far harder to put that into practice. While I certainly say kind words, silently I am quick to judge, and not always quick to forgive (I can count at least two long-standing grudges that I can’t let go of).

I could use the excuse that in the news business, you have to call things like you see them, and sometimes you have to make snap judgments too.

Which leads me to the second piece of Mister Rogers’ advice: Go Slow.

Breaking news requires speed. That is even more true with the advent of social media, and information going viral. But speed also is when mistakes are made. Being first does not always equal accuracy. Or fairness. Or good judgment. It is, in my opinion, the Achilles’ heel of standard news gathering practice.

Going Slow doesn’t suit our busy lifestyles. We want instant gratification, from reading every text message as soon as it comes in to one-click ordering on Amazon (with same-day shipping, of course).

Yet, just think how much better our community would be if we focused on being kind — and going slow. We’d be less likely to leave a snippy comment, be rude to each other in a public meeting or put others down because their viewpoint doesn’t mesh with ours.

My pledge to you, as we enter yet another holiday season, is to do better on both counts. Will you join me?

With special gratitude to all of you who support our community news gathering.

Teresa Wippel
Teresa Wippel

Happy Thanksgiving
Teresa

5 Replies to “From the Publisher’s Desk: Embracing the words of Fred Rogers”

  1. Teresa — In this world today, we need more people like Mr. Rogers to remind us to be kind. And, thank you for reminding us of his words, especially as we begin this special time of the year. Even though most of us may try, we too easily fall short and are too quick to judge. There are many times when I wish I had remembered Mr. Rogers and his simple, but very wise words. Thank you again for your message, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

    Ignored

  2. Teresa,
    Thank you for reminding us of Mr. Rodgers and his simple, yet powerful words. ‘Be kind’ and ‘go slow’.

    Today, on Thanksgiving I feel gratitude for Mr. Rogers, and for your reminder. A wonderful way to start the day in Edmonds.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Ignored

  3. Teresa,
    I, too wish to thank you for reminding us of Mr. Rodgers’ words to be ‘Kind’ and to ‘Go Slow’. As time passes, it seems to be very difficult for us to take the time to do either one of these. Everyone is rushing around and much too busy to take the time to be ‘polite’ and ‘courteous’. It seems that we want something yesterday. It would be nice if we slowed down some, smiled a greeting to others, did a kind deed and were courteous to one another. If we ‘slowed down’ a bit, we might find ourselves not having to retract something we said or did. That would a good thing.

    As we begin our Thanksgiving Day, I wish to thank you, Teresa for being such a caring person and doing your job beautifully. I am thankful for you and your crew. May all of you have a Wonderful Thanksgiving!

    Jean

    Ignored

  4. Well said, Teresa! Thank you for the reminder and for keeping us informed. You and your team provide a valuable service. Keep up the good work. Wishing you all the best throughout this holiday season and New Year.

    Ignored

  5. All surgarcoating on a society that is no longer civilized. We are going back to caveman days. All of you who haven’t been anywhere (Vancouver, B. C., doesn’t count; it’s still the Pacific NW) just don’t understand. With all your faux smiles and faux fur and faux leather and faux wishes, oh please! All meaningless dribble. The way a society evolves starts in the home, how you raise your kids, what you teach them and what you don’t teach them (maybe you haven’t been taught yourselves, so you cannot pass on good manners and grammar to your offspring). There is a general lowering of standards that shows up everywhere, whether it be school performance, public behavior, the quality of a sweater you buy….. And it starts with negligent parents. A lot of these people shouldn’t have kids, they are bad parents. Those of us who remember the days when quality counted, especially in the character of people in our neighborhoods, are especially bitter today. On my walk today, I saw an old Volvo stuffed full of dirty cartons and other debris. What went through my mind as I kept walking was how this symbolizes our society. I had to chuckle to myself, because a Volvo was once considered an upscale car, now it’s being used to store garbage. Hey, there is even a band called “Garbage,” I think they are from Seattle. As I was avoiding stepping into the dog feces on the side of the street (even in one of the better neighborhoods, we still don’t have sidewalks), the above mentioned bitterness made itself felt inside of me. Friendly holiday greetings sound so hollow these days, so meaningless, so ridiculous. Why don’t you pick up your dog poo like you are supposed to? Why don’t you teach your offspring correct grammar and etiquette? Without that, there is no “holiday;” it’s just more garbage.

    Ignored

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