the Ephemeral Me

Just like life - we appear, we disappear. So important to some; but for some, just passing by.

Personal blog. Tech blog here.

The Need for Control

· in inspiration, poem

With more than 20 hours between the exam that just got over and the last exam I will take before graduating, I was spending time on HackerNews and Reddit as usual. And then I come across this video of one Mister Fred Rogers on the internet. There is a children’s poem that he recites, which moved me like nothing I remember from recent times:

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world feels oh, so wrong
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you punch your bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag
And see how fast you go?

Its great to be able to stop
when you plan the thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to, can stop when I wish,
can stop stop stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there is something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.

For a girl can be some day a woman,
And a boy can be some day a man.

(Official lyrics and many other poems for children)

Mister Fred Rogers is asked to defend the $20mn that was granted by the US Govt. for his children’s education programme, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In the hearing, he is talking to an authoritative man who has the chair for the hearing. With his soothing polite voice and utterly humble way of speaking, Mister Rogers asks if he could read out a poem that he wrote to give an idea of what his programme gives the children. The man on the seat says of course, and Mister Rogers goes on to read this poem.

How profound, meaningful and touching the lines are, is substantiated by the chair’s reaction: he exclaims “I think it’s wonderful. I think you’ve just earned yourself a twenty million dollars!”

I wish I had listened to these lines when I was a child. Maybe then, just maybe, I’d not have said some words and done some deeds that now I want to forget about.

PS: With the amount of people that interact, forums such as these stand out among the other “Social Networks” that I otherwise participate in. Yeah, Facebook, I’m looking at you. (Even twitter has people from all over the world, but it’s just that finding good stuff on twitter is just too much hard work.) What I really like about HN or Reddit are the people and stuff that I discover that absolutely blow my mind. Mister Rogers and his story is one such thing.