One of my friend's recently posted "Thought You Couldn’t Hold Mr. Rogers In Any Higher Of An Esteem? Check Out These 6 Wonderful Facts".
I thought it was an interesting read since like many of us adults, I grew up watching Mr. Rogers, and it made me want to learn more about Mr. Rogers after watching this video clip below, "Mr. Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate."
I, of course, was totally won over by this poem at the end of the clip, "What do you do with the mad that you feel?"
"What do you do with the mad that you feel?
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh so wrong, and nothing you do seems very right?
What do you do?
Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up some friends for a game of tag or see how fast you go?
It's a great to be able to stop.
When you plan the thing that's wrong, and be able to do something else instead and think this song.
I can stop when I want to, can stop when I wish. Can stop stop stop. Anytime.
And what a good feeling to feel like this.
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there's something deep inside that helps us become something we can.
For a girl can someday be a lady and a boy can be someday a man."
Mister Rogers, Fred Rogers, was a man who saw a problem, and he actually did something to fix it. He did not start off in the television industry as a money driven individual. He actually was educated to me a minister and had background in music. However, he was not satisfied with what television was providing for children and decided to do something about it. He said "I went into television because I hated it so, and I thought there's some way of using this fabulous instrument to nurture those who would watch and listen."
When Rogers, first got into the television industry, he was hired by NBC for his music background. He worked there for three years and then quit, because 'commercial television's reliance on advertisement and merchandise undermine it's ability to educate or enrich young audiences.'
He then worked for public television stations and the University of Pittsburgh's program in Child Development and Child Care.
Some nerdy facts you might not know about Rogers is that he wrote over 200 songs for the "Mister Rogers" song and one we are all familiar with is the "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood" song. Also, all of the sweaters that Mister Rogers wore on the show were made by his mother. One of those sweaters is now in the Smithsonian Institutions.
Sadly, the show began to slow down in it's forth decade of airing, which isn't too bad. Later December 2002, Rogers was diagnosed with stomach cancer and passed away on February 27, 2003.
What an interesting and admirable man! Is there a modern day Mister Rogers for kids these days?