|THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers|
A Note From Fred Rogers
A friend once gave me a piece of calligraphy which I've kept in my office ever since. It's a quotation from The Little Prince by Antoine de St. Exupery which reads: "L'Essentiel est invisible pour les yeux." ("What is essential is invisible to the eye.") Those may seem like unexpected words to find in the office of a person who works in such a visual medium as television, but I find the truth of those words growing deeper within me every day.
When we see someone who looks or behaves differently from what's familiar to us, it's possible to feel a little bit shy, scared, curious, or awkward. I know how much I've struggled to look with my heart and not with just my eyes when I see someone who is obviously different from me. If adults have such a challenge, imagine what a challenge that can be for children.
Some children and families have bridged that gap, and we have enjoyed sharing their extraordinary friendships through this book. It certainly was obvious to us that such relationships bring benefits to everyone.
Whether or not you know someone with a disability, we hope this book will be of help to you as you talk with your child about how people are alike and how they're different -- and about how people feel about their differences. Children take their cues from the adults they love. You make such a wonderful difference in children's attitudes when you offer an atmosphere of acceptance.
One of life's joys is discovering that we can be open to new experiences that at first seem strange or even scary. It's exhilarating to find that the barriers that seem to separate us from other people begin to vanish when we take the time to get to know those people. That's the way it is with real friends.
Appearing In This Book
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