This past week I saw the documentary,
"Won't You Be My Neighbor?" It is about Mr. Rogers
personality and his popular TV show.
I know the film received good reviews and with good
reason. It was quite well made. BUT I still found myself
gagging over the schmaltzy persona that he always
The most incredible part is that this is clearly who he
was and his philosophy was sincere and deliberate.
I know the show was a fantastic teacher of children;
I know that Mr. Rogers's message was totally in
agreement with the principles I believe in
and try to live by.
Mr. Rogers was actually after my time and way after my
early childhood. Nevertheless, I would still be amazed if I
would have been drawn to his show even as a five-year
At that age, I liked shows like Winky Dink and You, The
Little Rascals, the Mickey Mouse Show, Howdy Doody, and
Captain Kangaroo. Rather sardonic cartoon characters also
appealed to me, like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam
and pretty much all of the Looney Tunes creations. Anytime
that Mel Blanc, genius that he was, provided voices, it was
a real winner for me.
Many of these shows were hardly sophisticated but
certainly lacked the saccharine quality of Mr. Rogers.
Now don't get me wrong. I absolutely LOVE his pioneering
and breakthrough message, so certainly need to cut him
some slack. No one else on TV has ever been the constant
champion of human dignity and the abiding belief in the
importance of giving love freely and unconditionally.
The guy even frequently used one of my favorite lines: "I
love you just the way you are" to his rapt audience.
Harking back to the blog/article I shared last week, I really
believe that self-esteem and self-love are a big key to
Mr. Rogers tackled sobering events like Bobby Kennedy's
death, the Challenger disaster and 9/11. He didn't steer
away from controversial subjects like race relations and gay
rights. He represented the good aspects of humanity, a
virtue that seems to be mightily absent these days. Being
compassionate, kind, loving and humane were the themes
and feelings he advocated. Sarcasm and shock weren't
valued; love was. WOW! What a message!
OK, Kathy, I think you need to take another look here! Your
cynicism and self righteousness is quite appalling,
particularly if you were like that as a child!
I totally believe in the inspiring message that Mr. Rogers
communicated so well and how can I ignore his overall
kindness and goodness? I surrender! Mr. Rogers's show was
a great gift to children and adults alike. We should be
thankful for his presence in influencing generations of kids!
I stand corrected.
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Who is Kathleen Pasley?
Kathleen has a life that encompasses numerous
areas of endeavor: writing, fundraising, marketing
Two things help define her: she has been on
a serious spiritual path for 35 years and has
known serious depressive episodes.
She is committed to speaking from the heart
on spiritual issues and sharing honestly
and openly about mental illness.