“What matters isn’t how a person’s inner life finally puts together the alphabet and numbers of his outer life. What really matters is whether he uses the alphabet for the declaration of a war or the description of a sunrise–his numbers for the final count at Buchenwald or the specifics of a brand-new bridge.” From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 621-623). I think this quote would really resonate with a lot of homeschoolers, and I think especially unschoolers – the idea that what really matters in life is what sort of people we are and that therefore our job as parents is to guide our kids to be people who are as good to others and to the world as possible – as Mr. Roger evidently was.
Growing up in the UK I unfortunately was never introduced to Mr. Rogers and his children’s programmes. I still have never seen one. Having read this article on the wonderfully named ‘Mental Floss’ blog, I should look them up on Youtube.
It’s interesting that I came across this link in the same week as another of his quotes was cited quite widely, in the context of the recent tragedy at the Boston Marathon. Mental Floss has it as their point number 6 ““When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.” From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 645-647). I think this is a lovely, positive way to look at the world in general and I would sure hope myself and my family would be these kinds of helpers. I genuinely think homeschooling gives this outcome a much better chance. Not having to face the often cut throat world of school gives kids more chance to learn to be kind and cooperative I think. Being surrounded by adults modelling this behaviour is one of the most effective ways.