This post was updated on 12/4/17:
“I like you just the way you are.” ~Mr. Rogers
Happy Birthday, Mr. Rogers! Today would have been his 86th birthday.
One of the most memorable statements Mr. Rogers would often say is “I like you just the way you are.” What a relief to have someone say that to you! What a gracious gift saying it to someone else—even if you don’t particularly like the person.
That last sentence sounds contradictory but think about this: Most of us have struggles and we’re sometimes amazed to have made it through the day. Most people are buried under piles of “you should, you ought to, and you’d better”. It could be that we aren’t seeing the real person so we don’t really know if it’s them we don’t like or the way the pressure is twisting them that we don’t like.
Also consider this: There are different levels of ‘like’ ranging from the kind of like that’s a common respect of all living things to the type of like that’s deep admiration, bordering on love. So, when you say to a person, “I like you just the way you are”, it’s okay to intend it in a respectful way rather than meaning you’d like to be the person’s best friend.
More importantly, though, think about what it could do for the other person to hear someone say “I like you just the way you are”. For a moment, they can let go of their burdens and cares; they can just be—maybe even take a breath, something they may not have done in a long while. You saying “I like you just the way you are” can be a healing touch to a place inside them that’s been hurt too long.
Saying “I like you just the way you are” can have magical and miraculous results.
Your homework today is to join the many others’ in honoring Mr. Rogers’ birthday by putting on a sweater. Be a good neighbor to someone by saying “I like you just the way you are”. The second part of your homework is to go to your mirror, look deep into your eyes, and say to yourself “I like you just the way you are”. Give yourself a big smile when you say it!
I LIKE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE!! I think you’re awesome!