My generation was blessed to have grown up with a true hero and icon of everything right and good with the world: Mr Rogers. Just thinking about ceremoniously tuning in to watch him after a hard day at kindergarten brings back a wave of warmth and peace. From the opening song to watching him walk through his front door and change his cardigan, he is as familiar and real today as it was 20 years ago.
In fact, his ‘realness’ was part of the charm of the show. Rogers was often quoted as saying that “children can spot a phony a mile away.” Not only did he not act out a different persona on the show, but he was responsible for most of it’s creation. He composed almost all of the music on the 895 episodes that began airing in 1968 and played the voices of most of the characters, from King Friday XIII to Queen Sara Saturday (named after his wife) to the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat and others. And subconsciously, the fact that our beloved Mr Rogers lived an authentic life both on and off screen probably doesn’t escape anyone in my generation – our on-screen heroes often turned out to have rather sordid off-screen lives. But not Fred Rogers.
Fred Rogers was not only an indelible American icon of children’s entertainment and education – he became a symbol of compassion, patience, and morality.
He taught us how to be gentle, kind, creative and full of goodness – but most of all, he helped us to discover the garden of our minds. THANK YOU, Mr Rogers for giving us so much to believe in.
Our Favorite Fred Rogers Quotes:
1) “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
2) “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
3) “You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are. ”
4) “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
5) “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.”
6) “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”
7) “The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.”
8) “Love and trust, in the space between what’s said and what’s heard in our life, can make all the difference in the world. ”
9) ”There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
10) ”Peace means far more than the opposite of war.”
Thanks Mr. Rogers, you’re still giving us the warm fuzzies after all these years.
How much do you love that guy?