Saturday, June 2, 2012

What Would Mr. Rogers Do?

I grew up on Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers. Now, for the most part, I have nothing against the educational programming that followed, but there was something comforting about the gentle acceptance that Mr. Rogers offered. Even before Billy Joel loved me just the way I was, Mr. Rogers told me that he liked me. That he liked my ins and outsides. That there was only one of me in the whole wide world and that I was special.

Not a bad message to grow up with.

He also taught me that I'd never go down the drain, and that was very good to know.

A few years ago, my F-R-I-E-N-D and I were discussing the decidedly un-Christian behaviors we had been observing in people touting the WWJD slogan on their person or their vehicle. We decided that perhaps we'd try to live by the credo WWMRD. He would be gentle. He would be kind. If he wronged someone - even unintentionally - he would apologize - not necessarily for the word or deed, if it was something he believed in - but for the hurt.

In a word, he would be civil.

The world isn't very much like The Neighborhood of Make-Believe, though.

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Re-runs of Mr. Rogers were still on the air when my kiddles were small, but they were quite uninterested. Gentle seemed boring in comparison to the fast paced programming to which they were accustomed. I would still put it on, though, even though they paid no attention to it.  I hoped some of the lessons that he imparted would seep in subconsciously. Plus, I liked watching the little segments where we would take a walk in the neighborhood, or consult Picture Picture to learn about how things are made. A little precursor to the Discovery Channel show by the same name - another good show, in my humble opinion.

I bet Mr. Rogers liked that phrase - in my humble opinion. A sense of humility is a good thing to have.  Even outside The Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

image source:  ohmygodot.blogspot.

Correct, as usual, King Friday.

But I've digressed.

The kids weren't interested.

It wasn't 'in your face'.

They liked 'in your face'.

Pink is 'in your face'.

She says good stuff, too.

I miss the gentleness - but I'll never tire of the sentiment.

Pretty, pretty please - don't you ever, ever feel - like you're less than fuckin' perfect.

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Hard to imagine Mr. Rogers saying the 'f' word. (I just, actually, DID try to imagine that. It was funny. I recommend it.)

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Well, neighbor, it's time for me to change my shoes and get on with the next portion of my day. Be gentle out there in the world today. Be gentle with your friends and be gentle with yourself. Because you are wonderful. Today. Without changing a thing.

Have a good day, friend.


Unknown said...

Mr. Rogers certainly was special! It's too bad there isn't more children's programing like that today.

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I was a little older than the kids this program was aimed at, and I thought he was "simple." (That was a big insult in my day.) Then I read how reassuring he was to little kids, and to kids whose parents didn't bother to teaching them the hot faucet from the cold one, so I realized he provided a great service. I also loved the humor in naming King Friday the 13rh. Thanks for a good message. Gentleness is underrated.

Plaid23 said...

Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure Mr. Rogers wouldn't appreciate how I still harbor bitterness and anger over his death.

Take care Tammy,
Mark Plaid