Remember Mr. Rogers? That friendly, soft-spoken, cardigan-buttoning, Keds-wearing guy on PBS? Sadly, they don't air Mr. Rogers Neighborhood on our local PBS station anymore. He is probably too tame for the tastes of today's kids (and even I was never a big fan of the puppet portion in the Land of Make-Believe). Whatever you think of the show, you must appreciate the man. In a day when we see the moral failings of public figures every night on the news, vulgarity everywhere (everywhere!) and even commercials that make you cringe if you're watching them with your six year old, you have to admire someone who states their values and then lives them out with integrity. Since his death, his widow has compiled and published some of his quotes and sayings. Whenever I see these little gems come across the circulation desk, I check them out and often find myself faithfully copying them in the Flotsam Jetsam Journal. (You'll see lots of them!)
While I was thinking about the heroic sacrifices and courageous deeds of our military yesterday, (even though Memorial Day is not actually until Friday -- so I am not late, I am early!) I remembered a Mr. Rogers quote about American history. In answer to the question, "What is the greatest event in American history?" he replied:
"I can't say. However, I suspect that like so many "great" events, it was something very simple and very quiet with little or no fanfare (such as someone forgiving someone else for a deep hurt that eventually changed the course of history). The really important "great" things are never center stage of life's dramas; they're always "in the wings." That's why it's so essential for us to be mindful of the humble and the deep, rather than the flashy and the superficial."
The humble and the deep. In a culture steeped in and obsessed with the flashy and the superficial, we need to be on the lookout for something different and it seems increasingly hard to find. Well, maybe not. For the sacrifices made, for answering when duty called, for standing on the wall so that I could lie safely in my bed, for staring death in the face and sometimes meeting him, for being afraid but saddling up anyway, thank you men and women of the armed forces. Thank you. The "little" things you do each day, add up to greatness.