Mr. Rogers


It was brought to my attention today that a phrase I quoted on FB last night was actually originally made the incomparable, Mr. Fred Rogers.  Though Mr. Rogers used the word ‘Like’ instead of “Love’ as Billy Joel did…. the message is the same….  “I like (love) you just the way you are!

In pointing that out to me….  It made me start thinking about Mr. Rogers and the huge impact he had on children so I started doing a little research on him.  Though I don’t think that Mister Rogers Neighborhood was a favorite program of my kids to watch…. you’ll all agree that we learned things from him…. whether we wanted to or not!  I was amazed as I searched at some of the profound things he said!  There’s so much I could expound on him and his contribution to society…. But, perhaps it would just be best to let the words already written by others and his own words speak for and about him.  So… here goes:

The Following is from Wikipedia:

He wanted to teach children to love themselves and others, and he addressed common childhood fears with comforting songs and skits. For example, one of his famous songs explains how a child cannot be pulled down the bathtub drain because he or she will not fit. He even once took a trip to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh to show children that a hospital is not a place to fear. During the Gulf War (1990–91), he assured his audience that all children in the neighborhood would be well cared for and asked parents to promise to take care of their own children.

During the 1997 Daytime Emmys, the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Rogers. The following is an excerpt from Esquire‘s coverage of the gala, written by Tom Junod:

Mister Rogers went onstage to accept the award — and there, in front of all the soap opera stars and talk show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, “All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Ten seconds of silence.” And then he lifted his wrist, looked at the audience, looked at his watch, and said, “I’ll watch the time.” There was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn’t kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch, but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked. And so they did. One second, two seconds, seven seconds — and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier. And Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said softly “May God be with you,” to all his vanquished children.

These are Mr. Rogers own words:

“I’m proud of you for the times you came in second, or third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you have ever done”

“When we treat children’s play as seriously as it deserves, we are helping them feel the joy that’s to be found in the creative spirit. It’s the things we play with and the people who help us play that make a great difference in our lives.”

“In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of — moments when we human beings can say “I love you,” “I’m proud of you,” “I forgive you,” “I’m grateful for you.” That’s what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff.”

“Sometimes people are good, and they do just what they should. But the very same people who are good sometimes are the very same people who are bad sometimes. It’s funny but it’s true. Its the same isn’t it, for me and you . . .”

So many more profound things that I could quote…. things that should still be taught to our children today!  I don’t even know if the program airs anymore since he passed away…. but it probably should!  Even though the format is a little ‘old fashioned’…. the lessons taught are important!

Of course, I think it only appropriate to end this post with the closing statement from his shows:

“‘You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you. And I like you just the way you are.   I’ll be back tomorrow. Bye.”

I am Grateful!  How are you?

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