Fred Rogers did not come to us from a spiritual mountaintop. He was fully human instead, a person who grappled with the inner difficulties so familiar to the rest of us. There is comfort in knowing this.
But there was something they shared, a certain inner luminosity, a quiet joy. It was acknowledged with a nod or a smile or a few kind words of encouragement for a plodding old guy like me. There was a wonderful, unspoken truth up there, something about the grandeur of nature and the expansiveness of the human soul.
On a winter afternoon in 1989, I climbed into the cargo hold of a crowded Ryder rental truck, finding my place amid forty-nine Central American refugees. Over the next eleven hours, on a journey from the Texas border town of Harlingen to Houston, I learned that we're all refugees.
Yet we remain inclined to believe that we are unique, comparing our tattered insides with the outsides of others, not knowing that most of those others pretend like we pretend. The dark genius of humanity is our great ability to conceal the truth of our insides from one another. We are all such great actors.