Mister Rogers on Vulnerability and Trust
by Ken Arneson
2015-02-28 18:27

In my last post, 42 Boxes, I spent 17,000 words trying to get around to the point that the first principle of human morality is that humans are vulnerable, and that the antidote to that vulnerability is trust.

In 1969, Fred Rogers (aka Mister Rogers) addressed Congress. Early on in his address, he came right out and said this:

One of the first things a child learns in a healthy family is trust.

It didn’t take him 17,000 words to say the same thing I did, because Mister Rogers was a saint and a genius, and I, in comparison, am a dim-witted blowhard. He later adds:

If we can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.

The recipe for a healthy family, or a healthy society, is simple. Admit your feelings about your vulnerabilities, trust that you can talk about them, and you will be able to control these vulnerabilities in a constructive, not destructive, fashion. It’s not that complicated.

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