In 1968, a television program geared toward young children made its television debut. The show was built around a kindly gentleman who quietly taught the children life lessons in simple, yet profound ways. The Iconic host, known as Mr. Rogers, wanted to approach children on their level without talking down or underestimating his audience’s ability to absorb simple, yet resonating truths about the world around them.
Though Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood went off the air in 2001 and the host passed away in 2003, his ability to teach and influence the greater neighborhood around him lives on. There is a planned movie about him in the works which will star Tom Hanks and there are other commemorative events planned including a stamp from the U.S, Postal Service.
Even though his show is long over, the simple character of Mr. Rogers lives on and can still impart important life lessons for the grown-up neighbors as well. There are five main lessons for life that the man and the character embodied. The first of which is the value of patience and slowing down the pace of life from time to time. One of the most memorable examples of this philosophy occurred when the host decided that he wanted his youthful audience to hear what it sounded like when goldfish were feeding. It took many hours and great patience for the marine biologist to set-up the sensitive microphones and wait for the fish to cooperate. Mr. Rogers simply said that relationships require kindness, tolerance, patience and wanting the best for others.
The second lesson for us to learn is that we should learn to love and accept people for who they are and not what we think they should be at a moment in time. He used the simple objects of knitted sweaters to tell children that things should serve as a reminder of people we love. We also stressed that love is an action verb, it can be hard to accept someone at difficult moments, but the struggle to do so is worth the effort we put in to it.
Another gem from Mr. Roger’s wisdom is that we are all neighbors. Whether someone lives across the street or across the planet, we are better off by taking the time to pay attention to our fellow humans, even if we have to put aside our time and schedules in order to be present to someone in need. The on-air personality was apparently just an extension of the man himself, he was always willing to lend a hand or an ear to someone who needed to be heard. He also said that even when we are caught up in sad circumstances or see others enduring tragedies or loss, we should look for those in the background who are quietly lending a hand. There is always someone around who is dedicated to helping others.
Lastly, the three main principals that guiding this gentle man were kindness, kindness and when that fails, be kind anyway. I think Mr. Rogers was a neighbor we could all use right now.
Writer Bio: Angela Mose
I am a mom of 7 who has successfully homeschooled for 20 years. I was married for more than 25 years and have recently started my life over. I have a passion for writing and music and when the two can be combined, it is utopia. A Maryland native, I am planning to relocate north in the near future and will continue to strive to learn and experience new things on a regular basis. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from home while exploring new ways to increase my knowledge and skills and help improve the lives of those around me.