Yellow Star Tulip and Mr. Rogers

 

 

A Flower Essence Archetypal Character Study

By FES Certified Pracitioner Linda Beal Klein


What is an archetypal study?


As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us is, that each of us has something that no one else has—or ever will have—something inside of us that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.1

Fred Rogers

Yellow Star Tulip , Calochortus monophyllus, is a member of the Lily Family. Its blossom is radiant yellow, with three yellow petals and three yellow sepals, and is approximately one inch across. Fine yellow hairs cover and gently reach out from the inside of each soft petal. It reaches up from within its watery bulb, growing three to eight inches tall. Yellow Star Tulip blooms in the spring. It lives in the open yellow pine forests and oak woodlands in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The essence of this delicately beautiful flower helps refine the sensitivity and awareness of the Self so that it becomes more actively responsible and truly compassionate and caring.4

Yellow Star Tulip assists the individual to truly listen to others. With this receptivity, the soul may “hear” and intuit another’s feelings and soul messages. Yellow Star Tulip “helps the soul direct all that has been developed within the inner life to go outward as a gift for helping and healing others.”5

It is our hope, as human beings, to become balanced and whole. Through our varied experiences, we may work towards this goal. We may develop our selves. As we live, our souls may evolve through our experiences, mediating between the physical and the spiritual. It is when we consciously allow our outer experiences to be illumined by our inner wisdom that we ignite our “I” or true identity. By crossing this threshold, we may discover our true self, our soul. After we have found our Self, and know, love and accept our own identity, then we may truly empathize and feel compassion for others and the world around us. We can recognize ourselves as unique parts of the greater whole. The flower essence of Yellow Star Tulip is for the awakened soul, who, in knowing its own self, chooses to be of service to others and the greater all. Mister Rogers was such an enlightened soul.

A sense of individual identity is one of the greatest gifts that parents can give a child. If that gift is not given, children will have to fight for their identities instead…7

Fred Rogers

The flower essence of Yellow Star Tulip is part two of a greater soul process, a jumping off point, if you will, for the soul’s evolution. Once one has found oneself, one may assist others more freely. Once one can truly love and accept oneself, one may accept and lovingly minister to others and all life.

Only by understanding our own uniqueness can we fully appreciate how special our neighbor really is. Only by being aware of our own endowments can we begin to marvel at the variety that our Creator has provided in humankind.8

Fred Rogers

The sacred key to understanding and embracing our unique self, and all others, is in developing the capacity to listen. This is what Yellow Star Tulip cultivates. This is what Mister Rogers modeled.

Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then
to our neighbors.
9

Fred Rogers


Fred McFeely Rogers was born on March 20, 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He was the only child of Nancy and James H. Rogers for eleven years, at which time they adopted a baby girl named Nancy Elaine. As a boy, Fred Rogers was quiet, shy, overweight and often sick. He remembered his feeling of loneliness growing up, which was compounded by the fact that he, his mother and maternal grandparents went to Florida every year for three months after Christmas. He had difficulty holding friendships and missed his father very much while they were away. As a child, he entertained and consoled himself by playing music and with puppets and stuffed animals. He began playing piano at age five and made up tunes to express his feelings. It is also interesting to note that yellow was his favorite color. Fred Rogers was colorblind and yellow was the one color he could see clearly.11 While growing up, Fred Rogers felt especially loved and accepted by his maternal grandfather, Fred Brook McFeely, who, he said, “taught me through his love.”12 Mister Rogers never forgot his grandfather’s words, which had such a profound effect on him; “Freddy, I like you just the way you are.”13

In college, Mister Rogers received high honors for writing music and planned to go to Seminary after his graduation, to become a minister. His plan changed abruptly after he saw his first television program while visiting his parents during Easter. He was shaken by the image he saw of people throwing pies into one another’s faces. “That’s when I decided to go into this field. Children deserve better. Children need better.”14 While working his way up through various television jobs, he married his college friend Joanne Byrd. Also at this time, for eight years, he studied during his lunch and at night to become a Presbyterian minister, as he said, “To deepen what I could bring to television …”15

As a minister, Mister Rogers stated, “I was given a special charge to serve children and their families through the mass media.”16 In 1966 Mister Rogers’ television experiences culminated in his producing and hosting Mister Roger’s Neighborhood. While in the program’s infancy, Mister Rogers also enrolled in a child development program.

When I first started working with children at a family and child-care center, as time went on, I spent hours and hours observing and listening, and little by little, something wonderful began to happen: I remembered how it felt to be a child myself. I remembered the bewilderments, the sadnesses, the joys, the lonely times, the angers. Having remembered these things, I found that I could make myself more available to the children I was with. I could take the time to listen to these children’s needs before deciding what their needs were.17

Fred Rogers


Mister Rogers was able to enter into himself and connect his experiences with his feelings, with the light of his inner wisdom. In so doing, he was able to find his “I”, his Self. Most of us do not feel safe enough, or worthy enough, to consciously enter into our selves. We do not connect the dots of our lives and, therefore, must continue to ‘fight for (our) identities’ throughout our lives in an unconscious search for our Self. Mister Rogers intuited this. By developing his own Self, after following his individual path, he chose to embark on a social path to help others on their journey towards self-development.

When you combine your own intuition with a sensitivity to other people’s feelings and moods, you may be close to the origins of valuable human attributes such as generosity, altruism, compassion, sympathy and empathy.19

Fred Rogers

In witnessing his first television show, he understood the powerful impact, for better or worse, that television can have on its viewers. At that moment, he used his “empathetic consciousness”20 for his “compassionate response based on social awareness.”21 He decided on a career in television. He understood the need for children to feel loved and safe in our often all-too-harsh world. Fred McFeely Rogers chose the vehicle of television to minister to his fellow human beings.

Mister Rogers knew that ‘we are all neighbors’. He created Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, with the purpose “to encourage human beings to be honest with themselves and with each other and grow in the conviction that each one of us is a unique and precious part of our world.”22 The intention of Mister Roger’s Neighborhood was the life mission, the soul mission, of Fred McFeely Rogers.

For over thirty years, through the creative expression of his songs, stories, and puppetry, and his comforting rituals and home-like setting, Mister Rogers provided a safe haven for children and adults alike in Mister Roger’s Neighborhood . Every viewer was his cherished “friend.” In Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, as well as in his multitude of books and audio-visual materials, he provided a form and forum for us to love and accept our selves and discover that ‘something inside us that is unique to all time.’ But he also knew that it was a process.

Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like “struggle.” To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.23

Fred Rogers

In her book, More Precious than Light- How dialogue can transform relationships and build community, Margareet Van Den Brink writes;

We are dependent on the concern of another person to help us to open up the inaccessible subconscious or superconscious parts of our soul. This concern is the key. When another person is interested in what is happening to us, listens to us and asks questions, creating the space for us to express ourselves, we not only become familiar with a larger part of our soul, but we also come closer to our own spirit self.25

Rudolf Steiner stated;

The human being must become more important to his fellow human being than he has been in the past. He should become a spirit awakener for the other.26

For those who are ripe in their own development, Yellow Star Tulip offers the potential for true soul evolution. It represents the pinnacle of flower essence therapy, in which we may inwardly balance and glean our beloved selves, then offer all the gifts we have gathered in our knowing outward, in service to others. Fred McFeely Rogers provided for us the living archetype of Yellow Star Tulip. He offered to us the most precious gift he had received from his own inner development, his compassionate and loving Self, as a chalice, for our own self- development, our own spirit awakening.

‘Hey, you’re the real Mister Rogers!’ a young boy named Brian cried out one day, on seeing his hero walk into the studio. Nearly every morning of taping there were kids running through Studio A. They came to meet Mister Rogers. Many were fans who had written letters—Fred received about a hundred a week and responded to each one personally—and children with special needs are often invited to come visit the Neighborhood.

‘And you’re the real you,’ Fred said, bending down. He shook Brian’s hand. ‘You’re so brave to shake my hand,’ he said. Brian, eleven, was a plump boy, somewhat awkward in his own body. He had Williams Syndrome, a condition that causes mild mental retardation and congenital heart failure. He’d come all the way from Arlington, Texas, to meet Mister Rogers.

‘I am special,’ Brian said, ‘aren’t I, Mister Rogers?’

‘Yes, you are.’

‘You know what, Mister Rogers?’ Brian said. ‘You are my friend.’ With that, the boy started singing a song from the Neighborhood. ‘You are my friend, you are special…’ Fred put his arm around him and sang along quietly. The crew in the studio grew silent.

‘Good for you, Brian,’ Fred said when the song was over. ‘Good for you!’

‘Can I give you a big hug, Mister Rogers?’ Brian asked.

Fred Rogers opened his arms and Brian Campbell fell inside.

‘I love you, Mister Rogers,’ Brian said.

Brian’s mother was completely undone by this exchange. ‘This is, like, the highlight of my life,’ she said.

Fred and young Brian continued playing. Brian made the trolley go, then fed the fish, while Fred followed along, trying to crouch down to the boy’s height. Eventually, the producer came over, hoping to turn this studio back into a place of work. ‘Come on, Fred,’ she said. But Fred had one more thing to say to Brian.

He got on his knees. He looked the child square in the eye. ‘You blessed my space today, Brian,’ he said.

Brian considered this. ‘Well, I’m glad you’re here, Mister Rogers,’ Brian said. ‘But we’ll probably never see each other again after today, will we?’

‘We can still be television neighbors,’ Fred said. ‘Can’t we?’

‘Okay,’ Brian said, adding, ‘I am special, Mister Rogers, aren’t I?’

‘Yes, you are.’28

Footnotes

1 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p.12

(2 Intentionally missing)

3 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p.116. (Image quote.)

4 Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Repertory, p.401.

5 Ibid. p.401.

6 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p.123. (Image quote.)

7 Ibid. p.12.

8 Ibid. p.9.

9 Ibid. p.115.

10 Fred Rogers, The World According To Mister Rogers, p.188. (Image quote.)

11 Jo Ann DiFranco and Anthony DiFranco, Mister Rogers- Good Neighbor to America’s Children, p.16-17.

12 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p.xii.

13 Ibid. p.xii.

14 Ibid. p.xii.

15 Ibid. p.xiii.

16 Ibid. p.xiii.

17 Ibid. p.152.

18 Fred Rogers, The World According To Mister Rogers, p.143. (Image quote.)

19 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p.121.

20 Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Repertory, p.255.

21 Patricia Kaminski and Richard Katz, “FES Quintessentials”, p.31.

22 Mary Rawson, “Other Viewers, Other Rooms”, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood- Children, Television, and Fred Rogers, p.177.

23 Fred Rogers, The World According To Mister Rogers, p.53

24 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p.121. (Image quote.)

25 Margareet Van Den Brink, More Precious Than Light, p.40.

26 Ibid. p.49.

27 Fred Rogers, You Are Special, p. 122. (Image quote.)

28 Jeanne Marie Laskas, “What Is Essential Is Invisible To The Eye”, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood- Children, Television, and Fred Rogers, p.29-30.

Bibliography

Collins, Mark and Margaret Mary Kimmel, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood- Children, Television, and Fred Rogers, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA, 1996.

DiFranco, Jo Ann and Anthony DiFranco, Mister Rogers—Good Neighbor to America’s Children, Dillon Press, Inc., Minneapolis, MN., 1983.

Dreissing, Georg, The Hunchback and the Princess, Inner Traditions, Ltd., New York, 1985.

Kaminski, Patricia and Richard Katz, “FES QuintessentialsFlower Essences to Bridge Body and Soul”, Flower Essence Services, Nevada City, CA.

Kaminski, Patricia and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Repertory, The Flower Essence Society, Nevada City, CA., 1996.

Rogers, Fred, The World According To Mister Rogers, Family Communications, Inc., Hyperion, New York, 2003.

Rogers, Fred, You Are Special—Words Of Wisdom From America’s Most Beloved Neighbor, Family Communications, Inc., Viking, New York, 1994.

Van Den Brink, Margreet, More Precious Than Light—How dialogue can transform relationships and build community, Hawthorne Press, United Kingdom, 1996.

Images of Mr. Rogers courtesey of www.fredrogerscenter.org

About Linda Beal Klein

Linda Beal Klein, M.Ed., is a FES certified flower essence practitioner. She is also a trained Waldorf and Special Education teacher. She assists children, adolescents, and adults in her private practice called Inner Garden. She can be reached at info@innergardentherapy.com or 401-792-3627. 


 


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