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Remembering the Iconic Mr. Rogers - 143

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143 DAY- I wonder how many of us know what this means.  It is actually an acronym [Read more...] that was started many years ago by Mr. Rogers of the long running, highly acclaimed children's television series that started in 1968, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.  143 day was yesterday, May 23rd.  It is also the 143rd day of the year.

The Power of 143

Mr. Rogers is gone now, but his legacy lives on in the many parents today who had the pleasure of watching his wholesome, quality children's programming.  143 is the number he assigned to the words, " I LOVE YOU.'  1 for the 'I,' 4 for 'LOVE,' and 3 for 'YOU.'  [As a side note, 143 was also the weight he maintained throughout his adult life.]  Those 3 numbers became synonymous with a quick way to tell or show someone that you loved or cared for them.  They became a unique demonstration of kindness.

Mr. Rogers Legacy

Mr. Rogers was known for some enduring quotes that not only live beyond him, but still have a powerful message of social consciousness that we need today.  Some of these include, "Won't you be my neighbor?"  "I like you just the way you are."  "The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self."  "Accept people as they are."  "You make each day a special day by just you being you."  "I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you."

Spreading his Influence Today

Mr. Rogers was from Pennsylvania, and yesterday Gov. Wolf proclaimed it to be 143 Day in his honor.  The state's website is urging residents to perform simple acts of kindness, such as giving someone your seat, taping coins to a parking meter or complimenting a stranger and featured a quote from Rogers:  "Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person."

Cool Kind Kid Challenge

So I pose the challenge for all of us to remember this great, humble man, not just on May 23rd, but every day.  We can start by modeling kind, caring, respectful behavior so that is what our children see and learn.  We can be more accepting and tolerant of those around us who are different from us.  Let's start using '143' when communicating with each other, especially our children.  In fact, let's teach our kids the sign language hand symbol for 'I LOVE YOU.'  Then teach them to say '143' by putting up first 1 finger, then 4 fingers, then 3.  Make this a fun game for them that is also a cool reminder that being kind and loving is the way to be.  Let's also encourage every state to get on the 143 Day bandwagon.

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