Today, I ventured into the rabbit hole called the Internet. During my adventures I ended up reading about Fred Rogers of the PBS show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. As a kid, I watched him and loved his soft spoken voice and his gentle mannerisms. I didn’t care for the puppet show, I just wanted to see him on the screen. I always felt cheated when the puppet show started. After his death, it became clear that he believed in his show and his love for children was genuine. Maybe that’s why I liked him so much because as a child; I could feel his realness and warmth.
The most interesting thing that I read today was that he once received a letter from a blind girl who worried that he was starving his fish because he never mentioned feeding them during the opening scene. According to her dad she cried for the fish. After reading the letter, Mr. Rogers made every effort to say that he was feeding the fish at the start of each show. By the way, he personally answered all of his fan mail and he received a lot.
Finally, I was saddened that so much recognition was bestowed only after his death. Why do we frequently only recognize someone’s accomplishments after they are gone? He was a genuine person who believed in helping and living his beliefs everyday.
I know there are other “Mr Rogers” out there. These are the people who do things to help children in a gentle, soft spoken way. On a national level how can we bring these people into the forefront? If society becomes more aware of these purple, it will encourage others to do a little of the same. Just another way to PAY IT FORWARD!