Mr. Rogers Teaches Civility

A few weeks ago, I was watching a Professional Conduct CLE on civil behavior. One of the speakers suggested that a great rule of thumb for how lawyers should think about conducting themselves was to keep Mr. Rogers in mind regarding how to treat each other with civility.

Fortunately, for a little refresher on Mr. Rogersisms, I was able to consult Life’s Journeys According to Mister Rogers, Things to Remember along the Way available here at the Law Library.

The book is currently on loan to us as part of a collaboration with the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (PLCH), to provide our patrons, young and adult, with a distraction, inspiration, or a mental health break. You can read more about it in Vanessa’s blog from October 24, 2019.

Life’s Journeys is a compilation of quotes from Mr. Rogers, along with a foreword by his wife, Joanne.   The book is then divided into the sections Who You Are Right Now, Love and Being Loved, and Guided Drift.

Reading Mr. Rogers’ words brings on memories of watching him change his sweater and shoes, which was designed to make sure “neighbors” knew that this time with them was special.

Mr. Rogers had a way of making everyone feel seen, valued, and special. No matter what.

Here is just a sampling of what is included in this peaceful little green book:

“You are a very special person. There is only one like you in the whole world. There’s never been anyone exactly like you before, and there never will be again.  Only you.  And people can like you exactly as you are.”

“Nobody else can make the sound you make. Nobody can choose to make that particular sound in that particular way.”

“Nobody else can live the life you live. And even though no human being is perfect, we always have the chance to bring what’s unique about us to life.”

“We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.”

“Every human being has value. This is the basis of all healthy relationships.”

As Mr. Rogers’ voice saying “You are special, and I like you” rang in my memory, my eyes caught another quote from the book:

“Here’s a gift you may not have expected. It’s a gift for you to give yourself. Sometime in your day today, try to turn off all the noises you can around you, and give yourself some ‘quiet time.’ In the silence, let yourself think about something. Or if possible…think about nothing.’”

So, if you find that you need a few minutes of quiet, to sit and think about nothing, or to spend a little one on one time with Mr. Rogers, his book is here waiting for you.  And, as part of the collaboration, if you feel you need more time with it, you can always return it (or any of the other books on loan) to any PLCH branch library.