For the Love of Mr. Rogers

I’ve got to hand it to him. Mr. Rogers was a machine, in the kindest and peace-filled and loving sort of way.

A line from the documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

And if you haven’t yet seen the new documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighboryou’d best get yourself to the movie theater as soon as humanly possible.

As a child who watched the show for years, I think about how he taught me to love others unconditionally.

As a parent, I think about what it means to treat our children as the humans they truly are and to choose slowness for him.

As a woman who is passionate about raising the voices of those who’ve been marginalized and oppressed, I think about how he broke through barriers after the Civil Rights era when no one else on television was doing it.

And as a Christian, I think about how every single episode centered on loving others and loving ourselves, that we are liked just as we are – that we are loved for who we’ve always been and who we are becoming.

The message he passed on to me, and continues to pass on to thousands of people through children’s television and a grown-up documentary, is one of Love.

Might we do the same.

Might we be the same.

And when we find ourselves in a sticky situation, whatever the hard thing, the tragedy, the loss, might we come to feel the gravity of love on the other side.

So tell me, is it the same for you?

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  • Imnoaheinstein

    Let’s not limit your learned lesson of human respect and love to one religion alone. Fred Rogers devoted his life to tapping the well of wisdom and grace that has fed civilized cultures for the last 6,000 years. From the writings of Mesopotamia to the earliest texts of Hinduism, to the teachings of Buddha and later to Jesus, the same verse can be found to guide us. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” This ancient and elegant (concise) truth has been the song of all cultures, peoples and religions. To restrict its ownership to one religion is to diminish its glorious truth for the whole universe.

  • mjg

    It truly is heartbreaking to see how the world is so bent on spreading unkindness. Television for kids is so perverse, anything related to Christianity is now considered evil and no one defends it. People were better people when Fred Rogers’ show was still on the air, now, they’re all screwed up. They don’t know if they’re men or women, girls or boys, the difference between good versus evil, and the confusion and chaos is amplified with the media’s agenda. We live in an unrealistic world. Fred Rogers wouldn’t know what to say today and he’d only be laughed at.