“You are special, friend.” Bea loves telling others they are special and that she likes them. She learned these two phrases from watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, the updated, animated version of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood of my childhood.

The messages in this new version are the same: You are important; You are special; You own your feelings. With the soundtrack on a continuous loop, these phrases permeate our house and are teaching lessons and attitudes that last a lifetime. When Frank leaves for work, Bea sings: “Grownups come back.” When she has difficulty doing something, she sings: “Keep trying [you’ll get] better!”

“The Quiet Man” (as my brother called him) empowered my generation to take ownership for our feelings and to talk through them with the adults in our lives. I know that some would argue his lessons have led to the snowflake effect on our society, I think they have given many people a voice, curiosity, and ability to keep trying, to get better.

Today is Fred Rogers’ birthday, so I thought I would leave you with a reminder that you are special: