Honoring Fred Rogers

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?Mister Rogers In Studio

That simple sentence of “Won’t you be my neighbor?” conjures up the simple song whenever we hear it.  Some of us may be too young or old to have watched “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood” as children, but  those of us in the USA know of him.  Currently, the documentary based upon his life is showing in multiple theaters to rave reviews. Many people have told me it brought tears to their eyes.  I know I did not see a dry eye in the house as I left the theater. No explanation for the tears will be given here, as  everyone should experience a movie without a spoiler.

What could have Mr. Rogers meant by “neighbor?”

Dictionary definitions all concur that a neighbor is someone who lives close by. With this vast universe, how could we all live by Mr. Rogers?  The Bible says to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  Thus, it is safe to assume Mr. Rogers was implying love towards all as we love ourselves.  That’s a heavy concept! For the purpose of analogy, my writing is geared toward those with self love.

Mr. Roger’s Legacy

We already know Fred Rogers promoted tolerance, self esteem and kindness as his legacy. What I did not catch before was that many of his shows were tied in to current events.  Without delving directly into those shows, I think of today’s current climate.  We are technology driven, which is a great thing, but turns ugly when misused. There are the “keyboard warriors” that feel free to say hurtful things they would not voice in person, political sniping,  news media showing the worst of others, people staring at their phones in lieu of conversation, and more.

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Then, there is the wonderful side of technology:  more access to education, formation of friendships,  calls for help being answered, knowledge of the plight of others, promotion of small business…the list goes on.  Mr. Rogers used the technology of television to promote what is good in the world.  What a trailblazer!

 

How can we continue the legacy of Fred Rogers?

Fred Rogers did not have just a “children’s show.”  His shows send us all a message of tolerance, helpfulness, and world peace. This begins with his message of self esteem. Once we have good self esteem, we are able to help others in many ways.  Most of us do help others day to day by offering empathy, smiles and service. That caring touches lives and sends a ripple of goodwill throughout our communities.

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How may we send that ripple across the ocean?  Think of how peaceful the world could be if we simply understood each other!  There are many ways to gain understanding and peace:  mission trips, cultural exchange, podcasts, You Tube, books, initiating conversation with those we perceive to be “different,” visiting cultural fairs, etc.

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Living the Legacy

I challenge myself and each and every one of us to live the legacy of Fred Rogers! Many mission trips are funded by donations through churches or incentives, such as Evolv Health’s Impact trips. You could host a foreign exchange student through CETUSA, whose mission is  reaching out to encourage a lifelong journey of global peace and understanding.”  Here is an educational podcast from a woman living a multicultural life: Petronella..  Ted Talks are informative, inspiring videos on many topics.  Here are the 5 top Ted Talks on Diversity/mulitculturalism:  Ted Talks. Plus, there are a slew of books on Amazon or your local library on a multitude of cultures.

 

By understanding those that appear to be “different” from us, we learn of our similarities, gain new friendships, and in the case of foreign exchange, a new family member.  It starts with the person in the mirror.  As Gandhi said ” be the change you want to see in the world.”

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for more information on student exchange, please visit http://www.cetusa.org or send me a message at:  julie.froberg@cetusa.org

 

 

Baby Steps to Healthy Aging

We all have been told over and over what to do to be healthy: eat less of this, more of that, go to the gym every day, sleep more, walk more, run, skip jump, stress less! I don’t know about you, but I get a bit stressed looking at all these commands.

It’s no wonder we are tempted to tune out, grab a soda and relax in front of the television. We’re told what to do, but in the myriad of choices, where do we begin?

Try starting with one habit you know you should change. If you drink two sodas a day, taper to one and eventually switch the one out to a healthy drink.

There is green tea, sparkling water and natural beverages sweetened with Stevia.

If you love chocolate, find a healthy chocolate. There are dark chocolates bars sweetened with Stevia and lower sugar bars available.

Artificial sweeteners will not do your body good, as your digestive system doesn’t process them in a beneficial way. If you can’t give up your milk chocolate, don’t! Simply reduce the amount you eat. Life shouldn’t be about deprivation.

Do you love fried foods but not the fat? Saute in good fats like coconut or olive oils. Look at investing in an air fryer. I love air frying so much, that I own two!

air fryer

Are you addicted to salty, crunchy foods like I am? I take a small handful of gluten free crackers and mix them with raw nuts for a tasty, filling treat. When only chips will do, I dole out a small amount of organic chips, sometimes even mixing those with raw nuts.

Ice cream! We all scream for ice cream! Although it’s not a healthy choice, who doesn’t love a cold and creamy treat on a hot summer day? There are alternatives! If you are feeling adventurous, you can make your own.

Exercise can come in many forms. Choose the method that works best with your schedule. If you don’t have time for the gym, don’t sign up as a member, thinking you will have time later. Exercise at home! If even that seems daunting, take baby steps; literally! Take the stairs, jump in place, dance to a favorite song, walk briskly, just get up and move!

Qigong

If you have physical limitations, there are exercises you can do from a chair. Yoga, Qigong and Tai Chi are also less strenuous. Just 10 minutes a day is something!

Lately I’ve been telling myself I’m too busy to do yoga. Today is a new day, and my yoga practice is startng again in a few moments. Which baby steps can you start today? Just one step leads to another.

Aging with Purpose

As we are all aging each day, no matter our current  age, this series on aging applies to us all. We may not want to get older (age) on purpose, but we have no choice.  What we can choose is keeping our attitude young.

Keeping our attitude young may seem a daunting task on those days we are tired and our bones creak. We have work, bills, chores, family and social obligations.  How do we fit in a youthful attitude when our minds are swimming with all we need to do?

tired lady

We must have purpose! Why are we working, paying bills, doing chores, etc? Is it security,  a vacation fund, to provide for our families? Those are purposes!  If these are purposes,  why are we still stressed? Where is that magic pill to keep our minds clear and happy?
Many books have been written about finding our “purpose. ” We may meditate,  go to seminars,  synagogues,  churches or mosques.  We leave feeling refreshed,  ready to begin anew, then……we go back to the old “grind.”

Agsin, where is that magic formula or pill to keep us clear, happy and young? This article  originally implied purpose, then said purposes can make us stressed!

The magic formula is one main purpose, or our WHY. What makes you most happy? If that is difficult to pinpoint,  make a list. You may find that many things that make you happy tie into one main purpose.

For example; my happy list  items are: travel,  time with my husband, helping others and feeling healthy. I was able to condense those items into one main purpose: feeding malnourished children.


Feeding malnourished children obviously fulfills helping others. It also takes care of my health,  as the whole foods nutrition I purchase is a social business model similar to Tom’s Shoes. My husband and I are able to spend time together and travel by visiting some of the children we feed, in addition to other trips we qualify for.

Honing in on  my main purpose has renewed my energy and outlook on life! I feel younger than I did 2 decades ago! Your WHY is simply what makes you happiest.  Find It,  pursue it, and age with purpose!

Wednesday Wisdom

We all  procure and obtain wisdom. Most wisdom comes from experience and education. Many of us seek wisdom from either health or wealth specialists, as good health and financial security may improve the quality of our lives. A specialist I am not; but a seeker I am!

This morning upon awakening,  I had a thought that our bank account is like our bodies. When we put green (money) into our bank account,  it grows through interest. When we put green (nutrients) into our bodies, our health grows.

This time of year, we tend to withdraw from both our bank and health accounts.  There are small steps we can take so our growth in these areas does not stagnate. We may have already overspent financially,  but it’s not too late to counter the effects of that!

Following are some ideas to replenish our financial ” green” :  At a restaurant,  drink water instead of a beverage.  That alone can save you $2 -$10 a person. Speaking of beverages,  brew your own coffee at home until your bank account is back to where it was before the holidays. Ladies,  those party dresses you’ve been eyeing? Skip them! Follow  A Small Wardrobe blog for some great ideas on shopping from your own closet. Are your shoes looking used up? Give them a good polish and new insoles from the drugstore.  Ladies,   decorative clips can turn plain pumps into party shoes. Skip the hairdresser for your formal occasions by finding YouTube tutorials. At home,  make a big batch of homemade soup for inexpensive and quick leftovers. There are many other ideas to cut corners on Pinterest.

It is definitely a challenge replenishing our  health account during the busy holiday season! Although I make no claims of expertise, I do know what works for me

There are quick,  easy hacks to keep our bodies nourished. One is to take whole foods supplements,  as our bodies will not assimilate chemically based supplements properly. Another thing is to keep healthy snacks with you, so you aren’t as tempted to grab junk food while out and about.  Some ideas are: raw mixed nuts, whole grain or gluten free crackers, Life Bars, snow peas, hummus, natural nutbutters and low sugar dark chocolate.  Many so-called nutrition bars are no better than candy bars. Make sure they are non-GMO, all natural with less than 2 grams of sugar. Also, keep a water bottle with you at all times

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Our workout routines may understandably  be on hold  now.  Still try to get a good nights sleep, stretch a lot,  and ask for foot ot shoulder rubs. Take time for a soak in the tub with Epsom salts. 

Whether our bank accounts or health get replenished or not,  staying grateful and doing the best we can will still help us achieve in the big picture. Happy holidays!