When I was little I used to watch Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I delighted to the antics of Lady Elaine Fairchilde, Daniel Striped Tiger and not forgetting King Friday’s wren on a stick!
Most Americans who have grown up in the last 40 years are very familiar with Mr. Fred Rogers and his teachings through his television programme. This was a man ahead of his time, ahead in just about every-way a person can be ahead. While having a discussion about the programmes I watched in my youth with my mother we began talking about Mr. Rogers and the legacy he has left in our family. The message he has left with us with is so strong that when I watch anything of his work, I am moved emotionally. He has such a deep seated position in our hearts, nothing threatens it and I appreciate him and his work today as much as I did then. He had the ability to make the viewer believe he was talking to them directly. I have yet to find another television presenter who can do this like he could. He told me, and I still remember that he likes me just the way I am, and not to change. The following is a recording of a 1969 committee for the funding of public broadcasting, focusing on children. Rogers, pleads his case to Senator John Pastore who chaired the meeting.
He Beat Him Up, In the Best Possible Way
Rogers was one of the best “pre-school” teachers that ever lived. He made each and every child that watched his programme feel special, for being who they were. He embraced everyone, no matter their race, sexual orientation or religion. He upheld the need for a routine for children, and paved the road for the programmes that were to come, making sure they had the funding and promotion to make it out there to make a difference to children.
There can be no greater legacy than that of a man who has touched so many, in such a positive way. The following is an example of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, in this episode, Rogers finds that one of the fish in his tank has died, and he begins the process of dealing with it, of course trying to revive it before give up. Mr. Rogers would drag children through the mud of life’s everyday problems, and in this case, it is the death of a fish. It is of course the end of a life, but his life, and the child’s life, must go on. He gives the viewer the tools he or she needs to brush that mud off and continue. It would have been helpful if when I was in school they had showed consequences we face throughout life with just ten percent of the flare and creativity that Fred Rogers employs. This is an incredible clip, and to me, showcases the best that Mr. Rogers had to offer: In his compassion, and gentleness he informs the viewer of the correct course of action, even going as far to bury the deceased fish in the garden.
The Death of a Fish
I take with me from growing up watching Mr. Rogers a strong appreciation for his work, both to benefit children like me, and those less fortunate. He gave a gift to the world when he fought for his funding; he gave a gift to the world when he wrote about life’s little dramas, and he made and continues to make me aspire to be a better person by following his example, as I said, there can be no greater legacy.
Thank you Mr. Rogers for your gift to me and my family, as a friend of mine, Dennis Madalone said recently, ”If I could be like Mister Rogers for one day then that would be an achievement of a life time for he was truly a gift to the children and to Mankind.”