Behind the Scenes in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

Written by Keith Varnum

Continued from page 1

"Where did our friends go? We were having such fun! Now all of a sudden they're gone,"repparttar puppets cried.

Wise Owl explained that their friends were not really gone. They had just changed form. His analogy was straightforward and easy to grasp.

"First," Wise Owl toldrepparttar 132538 puppets, "before your balloon friends arrived, they were part ofrepparttar 132539 Big Air. And when you all blew uprepparttar 132540 balloons, you helped bring this Big Air intorepparttar 132541 balloons. Asrepparttar 132542 Big Air came into each balloon, it became one of your balloon friends." Wise Owl tenderly explained torepparttar 132543 puppets that inrepparttar 132544 course of living life,repparttar 132545 balloon bodies of their friends were punctured and their essence went back torepparttar 132546 Big Air. "Your balloon friends no longer needrepparttar 132547 balloon bodies because they've changed form. But they're still around-in Spirit, inrepparttar 132548 Big Air," consoledrepparttar 132549 feathered sage. "Can you feel them?"

"Yes! Yes! We can feel them!"repparttar 132550 puppets exclaimed in unison.

The puppets' fears were alleviated. They understood that a person might grieve when a friend dies, changes form and goes away. But death does not meanrepparttar 132551 end; it simply means a friend has changed form and gone somewhere else. Once again, Mr. Rogers' young audience was given an alternative way to perceive an important aspect of life on Earth. And, as is his special talent, Mr. Rogers imparts a more compassionate and life-affirming way to embrace life than what is shown in much of ordinary commercial television programming.

Years later, I was delighted to come across an historical fact that revealed more ofrepparttar 132552 casual, canny insight of this playful puppeteer. The word that Jesus of Nazareth used in Biblical times when he referred to death does not literally translate intorepparttar 132553 English word death. The Aramaic word Jesus chose to use means "not here, present elsewhere."

The masterful way Fred Rogers used his puppets andrepparttar 132554 scope of his understanding of human nature were never more evident than whenrepparttar 132555 puppets would counselrepparttar 132556 technical crew of his television show.

The crew-mostly cameramen, grips and technicians-rarely talked directly to Mr. Rogers offrepparttar 132557 set. They did, however, mercilessly make fun of him behind his back forrepparttar 132558 emotional and expressive way he communicated onrepparttar 132559 show and in public. Fred was an easy target forrepparttar 132560 crew because he was such an open and, to them, vulnerable man who wore his heart on his sleeve.

Amazingly though, while Mr. Rogers was rehearsingrepparttar 132561 movements of his puppets before each show, these same macho, blue-collar detractors would surreptitiously sneak intorepparttar 132562 television studio and ask his puppets for personal advice! Speaking throughrepparttar 132563 voices and personalities of Wise Owl,repparttar 132564 King, Squirrel and other puppets, Mr. Rogers would dispense guidance torepparttar 132565 crew members about extremely personal issues, such as being impotent or having serious marital or health problems.

Fred assigned merepparttar 132566 task of keeping everyone else offrepparttar 132567 set until he, or ratherrepparttar 132568 puppets, finished counseling a worker. From a discreet distance, I observed these "tough" men cry and tellrepparttar 132569 puppets their most secret fears and weaknesses. The men knew on some level, of course, that insiderepparttar 132570 puppet wasrepparttar 132571 hand of Fred Rogers. The same men who would not talk to Mr. Rogers to his face would bare their souls to his puppet-covered hands! The genuine concern and compassion Fred expressed through his puppets to these workers was very moving to witness.

Later, in public,repparttar 132572 same crew members he had counseled continued to ignore Mr. Rogers, as ifrepparttar 132573 puppet encounters had never occurred. And Fred played along with their detached behavior, not giving any sign of personal connection withrepparttar 132574 workers other than as ordinary members of his crew. However, I did notice that, over time,repparttar 132575 men who gotrepparttar 132576 most counseling fromrepparttar 132577 puppets participated less and less inrepparttar 132578 mocking of their boss behind his back.

Fred Rogers taught me how to communicate inrepparttar 132579 most profound and affecting way-heart to heart, soul to soul. He not only showed me how to convey messages through direct transmission, he modeled how to do so with clarity, love and integrity. By daily example withrepparttar 132580 children and crew, he demonstrates how to use authenticity of intention to connect with other human beings onrepparttar 132581 most fundamental spiritual level. He aligns his eyes, face and voice to instill a potent and consistent tone to his sharing. He utilizes his body and gestures to carryrepparttar 132582 strength of his conviction. To expressrepparttar 132583 lightness and accepting nature of his presence, he uses spontaneous laughter, play, fun and humor. He employs music, poetry, art and dance to share on still more levels and reach a broader spectrum of children-of all ages! His carefully chosen words, stories and actions wererepparttar 132584 outer expression of inner eternal truths that have served me well overrepparttar 132585 years. I was, indeed, honored to hang with Mr. Rogers in his 'hood.

Drawing from the wisdom of native and ancient spiritual traditions, Keith Varnum shares his 30 years of practical success as an author, personal coach, acupuncturist, filmmaker, radio host, restaurateur, vision quest guide and international seminar leader (The Dream Workshops). Keith helps people get the love, money and health they want with his FREE “Prosperity Ezine” at

No longer the Raj

Written by Holmes Charnley

Continued from page 1

Well, as I say, when I first came across this story, it was amusing fromrepparttar point of view of trying to fathom out whatrepparttar 132535 reaction would be, should such a shop open where I live. Living amidstrepparttar 132536 rolling hills of a rural county in England has many advantages, of course. I like landscape. I likerepparttar 132537 smell of harvest. But unlikerepparttar 132538 harvest, I can't say I've ever smeltrepparttar 132539 family who live downrepparttar 132540 road...

You see, a lot ofrepparttar 132541 older generation still think they are sipping gin and tonics, fanned byrepparttar 132542 natives, as they lounge onrepparttar 132543 verandah out in India.

The Raj is over. The empire IS nothing but an insipid little man called Tony. And that's alright with me.

Welcome to a multi~cultural England, dear.

Tonight, I playrepparttar 132544 rhumba louder…

Freelance Journalist based in UK. Individual, light-hearted style but still with the power to make you think.

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