Mr. Rogers is one of my all-time favorite people. Such a shame he's not with us anymore. My son shares his birthday with Mr. Rogers and was absolutely devoted to him as a young child. When he was about two it took us quite awhile to figure out what he was doing when he'd throw his shoes into the air and pretend he was zipping up a sweater. (If you haven't seen Mr. Rogers that won't mean anything to you.) He played at "being Mr. Rogers" so much that my mother knit him a red sweater with a zipper for Christmas when he was three. He was ecstatic.
Mr. Rogers set a perfect example of harmony and peace. And more important, he made everyone (adults too) feel that they were "special" to him. He gave millions of kids an incredible feeling of love and security by accepting them "just they way they were".
What a gift that is. Perhaps one of the most difficult gifts that any of us can or will give...to accept a person just the way they are.
We can start with the above quote....get to know the person. I learned that lesson my freshman year in college living in a sorority house with 80 young women. We were rotated every nine weeks into a different room with different girls...2, 3 or 4 girls to a room. I remember thinking, "I can't possibly live with "so and so". And sure enough I had to live with several "so and so's" and guess what? I got to know them, appreciate them and I honestly cannot look back at that time in my life and say there were any of those women that I didn't come to care for. Many of them became very dear friends.
This doesn't happen often, but even when you try your darnedest to get along and get to know a person, there are just some people that won't let that happen. And if they were able to tell you their story that would explain why they won't let you in. Don't give up on them, if it's possible.
It's been my experience that making the effort and giving a person enough of your time to know them is a worthwhile gift to them and to yourself also. Of course, not everyone is going to turn out to be your best friend but once you can accept them it opens up all kinds of possibilities...from respectful acquaintance to lifelong friend.
We're always going to have to deal with people that at first may be off putting or down right rude....at work, in our neighborhood, socially and so on. Getting to know that person's story and accepting them as they are will be something we can give to them, to ourselves, and Mr. Rogers!