Friday, April 30, 2010

A Strong Man

Many people believe you have to be aggressive or dominating to be an alpha, a leader, a strong man. 

This isn't always the case. Here's a truly good man who lead by example. He was a Marine sniper, and Vietnam veteran, and a good man.

From Mr. Rogers during his lifetime achievement award acceptance award speech:
He made a small bow and said into the microphone, "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?  Ten seconds of silence."  He then lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, "I'll watch the time."   There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn't kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked.  And so they did.  Once second, two seconds, seven seconds -- and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier.  And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly, "May God be with you." to all his children.

Fred Rogers. RESPECT. 

Credit: iStig for the link

1 comment:

  1. The most cursory inspection of Mr. Roger's Wikipedia page would reveal he was not in the military. He was at the time of the Vietnam War at home having children, attending seminary, and starting his television career.

    That said, thank you for the link to the video - it was heart-warming. Though to see it as an act of manliness I think is a bit of a stretch. He may be commanding attention, but it was through a very polite, quiet, even meek request, and it was focused on the subject of nurturing - hardly a stereotypical masculine trait. I think it transcends any reduction to gender; this man touched so many of us in a way that could be described as both paternal AND maternal.