It’s not often that I encounter an article on the web that moves me to tears, but I happened upon this piece when cruising around Facebook earlier this week (thanks to Jeff Giles at Popdose,) and it was non-stop waterworks. Not the ideal way to begin your work week. Reading the lengthy piece about Fred Rogers definitely brought back some childhood memories as well as sort of setting me straight for the week-every once in a while I need a priority check. If nothing else, click on that link and read the article to find out some interesting facts about a man who became incredibly successful and did so without sacrificing his morals and by engaging in basic human kindness and decency.
During the time I would’ve been a regular viewer of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” I wasn’t suffering from any major childhood traumas or issues. I was actually a fairly well-adjusted, happy little kid (the trouble didn’t start until later.) Nevertheless, in a house that was always buzzing, Mr. Rogers was kind of a safe haven-his neighborhood was a place where everyone had a fundamental innocence, everyone was even-tempered and quiet, and things were simple. It was very easy to get sucked into his world as a kid, even if watching clips from “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” today, the sets and storylines appear almost painfully cheesy. Blame it on adult cynicism. He didn’t talk down to his audience–here was an adult that kids could relate to, not as an authority figure, but as a genuinely good person. The vibe I get from Mr. Rogers is very similar to the vibe I got from Michael Jackson when I was a kid. I’ve met a good amount of celebrities in my day, and I think the only two famous people that could reduce me to complete mush if I’d ever had the chance to meet them would’ve been MJ and Mr. Rogers.
I could go on listing Fred’s accomplishments, but I think clicking on the aforementioned article would serve Mr. Rogers’ legacy the best. There’s a link to this video at the bottom of the article, but even if you don’t click and read it, watch the video. Anything I could potentially say about this man can be summed up in this simple minute or so of footage.
The world needs more people like him.