Several years ago I was at the library looking for a book to check out when I noticed one written by Texas journalist Tim Madigan. I knew Tim from my time in Fort Worth, so I was intrigued. After picking it off the shelf, I saw that it was the story of his 8-year relationship with Fred Rogers of Mr. Roger’s fame, a beloved Pittsburgh icon and touchstone for tens of thousands of children. What a great way to bridge my Fort Worth and Pittsburgh connections, I thought.
The book, I’m Proud of You tells the story of what began as a media interview when Tim came to Pittsburgh to interview “Mr. Rogers.” Over time with shared letters and personal visits a deep and caring relationship developed between the two men. For Tim, who experienced a number of tragic events during these years, Fred provided a transcendent perspective that helped Tim survive depression, the loss of his brother and the healing from a broken relationship with his father. “I’m proud of you,” was Fred’s abiding message in their communications.
As adults, we don’t get much praise in our lives. We strive to do our best and are expected to know that our efforts and successes are supposed to be reward enough. Usually, however they are not enough as we rarely get the recognition we are looking forward to receiving from others. Looking for opportunities to acknowledge other’s work builds their self-esteem and ours. Share an “I’m proud of you” today and bring a smile to the world.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2016