In 1997, Fred Rogers won a Lifetime Achievement Award Emmy. As he walked on stage to receive the award, the room was filled with so much appreciation for him. Before he ever said a word, there were smiles and tears.
But that appreciation grew even more when he began to speak. In his acceptance speech, Rogers moved the spotlight away from himself toward the people who have shaped us — people unseen, people with names known especially to us.
“All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are — those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life? Ten seconds of time. I’ll watch the time.”
People giggled at that last part.
But then, you could see everyone’s minds go to very loving places. People sat in silence with tears in their eyes, remembering the presence of people who have loved them into being. It was a beautiful span of silence, filled with many memories.
“Whomever you’ve been thinking about. . . how pleased they must be to know the difference you feel they’ve made. You know, they’re the kind of people television does well to offer our world.”
Such a sacred moment.
Friends, who loved you into being? How can that love ground you and hold what you need today?
How special it is to have received that love — not only to know it, but to have had the occasion to know that we’re worth that love in the first place. That’s what these individuals gave us. And as thankful as we are for them, they are surely thankful for us.
Have you pondered this lately? If we’re still able to contact these loved ones, perhaps this might be a good day to let them know we’ve thought of them. And even if they’ve died, we can have a conversation with them inside ourselves. That experience of connection still exists for us.
So, who loved you into being?