Words of Wisdom                    Being Lovable (Mr. Rogers)

From time to time, I look at the little book entitled, “The World According to Mr. Rogers.  It was published around the time of his death in 2003.  It is a gentle book with words from a gentle man, Fred Rogers.  Many of you grew up with Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS.  Fred Rogers had a way of talking about really important things without scaring away either children or adults.

He made one observation in the book which I especially like.  He wrote, “Deep within us, no matter who we are, there lives a feeling of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person that others want to be with, and the greatest thing we can do is to let other people know that they are loved and capable of loving.”

That’s a remarkable statement, I believe.  It really identifies what makes us all human, what makes us care for and about other people, what makes us worthwhile and care about ourselves.  Benjamin Franklin weighed in on the subject nearly three-hundred years ago when he said, “If you would be loved, love and be loveable.”

How do you go about being lovable?  First, understand that lovable and perfect are not the same thing.  It’s fine to strive to do your work well, but it’s not what makes you lovable.  I think being real, being genuine and being kind make you lovable.  In other words, to the degree you care for others, you invite other people to care for you.  To me, that’s what being lovable is all about.  If you want to be cared about, care for.