“You are a very special person. There is only one just like you. There’s never been anyone exactly like you in the history of the earth, and there never will be again. And people can like you just because you’re you.”
— Mister Rogers
I grew up in a quintessential small town just outside of Pittsburgh with a distinct name, “Mars,” Pennsylvania. The town motto in Mars is “Just a little closer to Heaven.” The Pittsburgh area historically has a reputation for being a little rough around the edges, though Pittsburgh has a far more nurturing and softer side.
A family photo of my mom, dad, brother and myself.
There are many people near and dear to my heart who are from Pittsburgh, but one in particular many of you may know, too — Mister Rogers. Affectionately known as Pittsburgh’s Favorite Neighbor, Mister Rogers filmed his iconic television show in Pittsburgh. In the children’s television show, Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, he taught us the importance of helping others and that we are loved for who we are. His lessons are both simple and profound, but a common thread throughout his show is acceptance and care for others and ourselves. Throughout this blog, I’ll share several of his lessons and how they relate to my life and my career.
Lesson 1: It is what we do with our blessing that matters.
Mister Rogers showed his viewers they can use their gifts as a catalyst for good. He taught us that, “The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.”
My grandfather, a Pittsburgh native, served as a Commander in the U.S. Navy. He had an irrepressible passion for learning and reading, a trait we both share. My grandfather’s life was centered on service, whether he was serving his country, being a caretaker for his family when they were ill or tutoring me in math when I was in school. It was through his simple, everyday acts of kindness that he showed everyone just how much he cared. When I think about my grandfather, I remember how much I appreciated when he shared his knowledge with me. Every time I visited his house, I learned something new.
My grandfather and I reading together.
In my role as DCG’s Human Resources Specialist I enjoy helping employees succeed, whether it is aligning talent to the right position or finding an internal opportunity for employees to grow their skills. I feel fortunate to leverage my skills at an organization that works on meaningful causes to support our nation’s Veterans, following in the footsteps of my grandfather. My career journey has taught me there are so many opportunities to use our blessings to help a colleague, work on mission-driven work, or change someone’s life for the better.
Lesson 2: There are so many ways to say, “I care.”
Through simple lessons, Mister Rogers taught children the importance of kindness. He also taught children that caring is a two-way street, we cannot always be at the receiving end of caring, but we can show others just how much we care by doing small tasks, like making the bed without being asked.
Through simple acts of caring at work we can show others we care. We can listen, check-in on others, express gratitude, and pitch in and help even if we feel tired or it is not our favorite task. One of my favorite qualities of employees at DCG is their spirit of generosity. Saying “I care” takes on many forms at DCG, whether it’s training a new colleague, mentoring a team member, or participating in one of DCG’s committees to build relationships across the team. When we go the extra mile with simple acts to show others “I care,” it can make all the difference.
Lesson 3: I like you just the way you are.
In Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, Mister Rogers brought many diverse neighbors (guests) on his show, this included children with special needs and people of different races, even during a time of segregation. Mister Rogers took a strong stance that everyone should be loved and accepted for who they are.
Mister Rogers taught us to believe in ourselves and stay true to our core values, even if popular opinion differs. In business and in life, we can make a deliberate choice to see the value in others and their hidden gifts and potential where others may not be able to see. Everyone’s contributions show up differently, but they each bring immense value to the table. For instance, at DCG, employees can facilitate Lunch n’ Learn discussions where they lead engaging and informative presentations and share knowledge about topics they are passionate about with the DCG team. Whether the topic is focused on communications or interpersonal skills, each Lunch n’ Learn topic is unique, just like each employee.
At DCG, we have built an intentional culture designed to help support each employee’s unique gifts and passions. When we can appreciate ourselves and others, there is no challenge we cannot face. As Mister Rogers would say, “I hope that you are proud of you, too.”
Credit: Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood/PBS
The World According to Mr. Rogers: Important Things to Remember