Monday, February 06, 2012

i'm proud of you

i just finished this book this weekend, and wanted to share it with my readers.  it's called "i''m proud of you: life lessons from my friend Fred Rogers" by tim madigan.  it is the true story of an unlikely and unexpected friendship between a journalist from texas and the children's show host from pittsburgh.  sent on an assignment to interview the famous tv figure, madigan was skeptical of rogers' kindness at the beginning.  but the relentless kindness that mr. rogers showed him, along with his natural comfort with vulnerability and intimacy, soon softened his heart and demonstrated that mr. rogers was no joke.  his kindness was not just a public television facade meant to trick the children. he was no charlatan.  he was the real deal. 

then, through email correspondence and phone conversations, the two developed a close friendship that served madigan well.  as he went through marriage difficulty, some depression and related issues, and then a terrible family illness, mr. rogers walked with him each step of the way and demonstrated love and kindness beyond expectation. 

it changed madigan's life. 

one of the greatest impacts rogers had on madigan was in telling him time and time again: IPOY.  i'm proud of you.  it was the mantra of their friendship, and madigan had no idea how hungry he had been to hear those words.  ultimately, hearing those words and living into them helped to save his marriage, his relationship with his father and brother, and set his life on a different course.  it is a compelling story, and, at least for me, a challenging one. 

i want to be like mr. rogers.  big time. 

i want my life and relationships to be marked by kindness.  i want people to know how much i think of them; how much i am blessed by knowing them; and how proud of them i am.  i don't want to be too 'macho' for having good friendships marked by vulnerability, intimacy, trust and love.  i want to take my own belovedness and reflect it on each person i meet, each friend i love, and every encounter i have.  this book helped challenge me towards that, and i hope to keep it written on my heart for some time to come.  a big thanks to mr. rogers for being such an amazing man.  and a big thanks to tim madigan for writing it all down.  i am blessed. 

2 comments:

Emoly said...

Okay, first I'm just now catching up on your blog. Without a job to keep me at the computer all day, I'm having to force myself to sit at it and check out my "normal" things.

Second, I'm sort of shocked that no one has commented on this post. What a great review. Growing up watching Mr. Rogers, I am very interested in reading this book. How motivating.

Third (and last), how simple of a reminder it is. For all of us. I'm not trying to be cheesy when I say it, but I'm proud of you, Greg, for pointing these things out to us. For sharing your faith in a very public way and for being an honest Christian. I know, personally, I have been blessed many times over from your friendship. Even from far away, your words, your art and your passion have changed me, moved me and motivated me in so many ways. I'm proud of you as a friend and I'm proud to call you my friend.

Thank you.

greg. said...

emily,

for some reason my blog didn't publish your comment and i didn't see until just now that i had a comment waiting. sorry about that. thank you for this beautiful comment! very affirming and such a blessing to read. thank you for writing it. ipoy too!