power of smiling

What Mr. Rogers Taught Me

What Mr. Rogers Taught Me

A few days ago I saw a preview of the new documentary about Fred Rogers called, “Won’t You be my Neighbor?” Instantly, I remembered being a small child, excited to turn on our old black & white TV and see Mr. Rogers smiling face as he invited me into his living room. With fondness, I recollected watching him take off his “street clothes” and put on his sweater and tennis shoes.

Then when I was about 11 or 12, I was rummaging through my father’s stack of albums and pulled out Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I started belittling him, saying his show was for babies. It was stupid. And then my father’s stern voice rang through the hallway. “Mr. Rogers is an exemplary human being. His show is intelligent, thoughtful and fun. And his message is one of universal love.”

That shut me up.