October 04, 2004
The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers

The World According to Mister Rogers by Fred Rogers: a small, lovely collection of quotations by Mister Rogers, everyone’s favorite neighbor.

Fred Rogers, known to children and adults throughout the world simply as Mister Rogers, was one of the most well-known and beloved television figures. His message was simple - everyone is precious, love your neighbors, treat people right, and believe in yourself.

The collection was divided into four sections: The Courage to Be Yourself, Understanding Love, The Challenges of Inner Discipline, and We Are All Neighbors. A foreward by his wife Joanne was also included which contained my favorite quote, though it wasn’t by Mister Rogers. It was from Mary Lou Kownacki and said, “There isn’t anyone you couldn’t love once you’ve heard their story.” What could be a better definition of empathy and tolerance?

I’ve been going through some rough times lately and I’m not ashamed to admit that reading some of Mister Rogers words made me cry, mostly because they made me feel better about myself than I have in a long time.

Part of a public service announcement that he made for the first anniversary of September 11th, included this, “I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger: I like you just the way you are.” Is there anything more comforting to know that Mister Rogers loves you and, more importantly, likes you for who you are? Somehow I don’t think so.