Fred Rogers knew his calling, his mission, his audience. His heart’s desire was to let all of the children in the nation know and hear that they were loved and appreciated just as they are.
Through the brand new medium of television, he spoke to the unnoticed masses of children, got down to their level, moved at his own pace, and offered us all dignity.He didn’t follow trending goofball or slapstick programming. He made a clear distinction between real and make believe.
After studying child psychology, he discussed monumental themes never before breached with children: grief, discord, war, death, divorce, disabilities, even assassination.At a low time in our history when colors couldn’t commingle and were not welcome even to swim in the same water, Mister Rogers confronted the issues head on and discouraged racism by washing the feet of those being mistreated. He set the standard for recognizing and valuing feelings and learning to discuss and help them.This feels like an important documentary, one that like the show Mister Rodgers’ Neighborhood offers all people equally the opportunity to do what is right, to listen and learn from one another, to believe that everyone can make a difference if they choose to live by their convictions, and above all to love people well. “143.”