Have you seen, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood?” The consummate gentle grace-filled man, Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks), notably says, “you were once a child, too.” Mr. Rogers’ grace allows him to see the child in everyone he meets. By loving people exactly as he finds them, Mr. Rogers offers the tremendous gift of acceptance.
Why see the child in each person? Why remember that “you were once a child, too?” Is it easier to recognize a child’s needs for security, connection, affection, acknowledgement, understanding, autonomy, peace, and of course, physical well-being? When adults see these needs within children, perhaps they more easily understand a child’s behavior indicates whether one of those needs remain unmet.
What if we see the child-like wonder and beauty in each person we meet? Will we do the same for the next person too? And our brother? Our sister? Our neighbor? It does not mean we take responsibility for meeting everyone’s needs. It starts by recognizing each person, including ourselves, has needs. By fully seeing the child and underlying needs, maybe each of us may assume some of the gentleness and grace of Mr. Rogers.
Do you remember the child within you? Conflict coaching and mediation allow space for people to clarify needs and consider options to create more lasting solutions.