Note: please know I am not being compensated in any way for the following plug. It primarily serves as a topic of discussion and nothing more. Besides, the world could use a lot more of Mister Rogers. A LOT.
I am currently reading The Good Neighbor by Maxwell King. The book chronicles the life of Fred Rogers, the brainchild behind the children’s show masterpiece Mister Rogers Neighborhood. I am halfway through the book thus far, and something inside me is deeply wishing for some sort of a Rogers-esque emergence. I don’t know what children’s programming is like today, but I don’t think it comes anywhere close to the educational serenity that Mr. Rogers exuded during his reign. As I’m reading the book, I find myself nodding my head out of solace. Children are exposed to so many unfathomable things at the moment, and are being raised by batshit millenial parents who expose children to their own emotional impediments as it relates to the current political and racial divides. Adults are sending mixed messages to young eyes; that it’s okay to fight hate with hate, and the adults are transcending these corrupted messages to younger generations. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have very little confidence in future generations because of what we are witnessing today.
For example, violence is never okay, no matter who threw the first punch. Yet, we (society) are idolizing a woman who’s punching a drunk man at a fast food place. Rather than say, “This is disgraceful that our society has come down to this,” we are saying instead: Wow! Look at the woman go! Woo hoo! She is a superhero, and we ought to kiss the ground she walks on!
We are why idolizing her anyway? Is it solely because she is a woman? A woman who stood up for herself and that no man should ever ask for a straw?
I will not apologize in writing that I do not share society’s enthusiasm for this particular style of “heroism.” We seem to be shifting away from civility and sensationalize violence instead. It is times like this where I’m convinced humanity is severely devolving, with no one to interject to point out any of these mixed messages. There is absolutely no one in public spotlight that would willingly put a halt to the heinois displays of debauchery and immoral behavior. We need a hero now, one who speaks with genuine words of empathy and compassion, and one who doesn’t need the assistance of a publicist and/or adhere to contractual obligations to do so.
Fred (aka “Mister”) Rogers was that man. His primary goal was to teach the lessons of genuine kindness, compassion, and encourage learning about varying cultural aspects and differences. I grew up on his particular neighborhood, and his words of wisdom still resonate with me greatly. His show serves as a constant reminder that kindness can go a long, long way. Not everyone will think the way you do, but that’s what makes us unique. Mister Rogers never preached to turn a negative into something more negative. NO. We CAN, as humans, have the ultimate ability to turn the negative into positive and incorporate this strategy into daily practice. A practice that could very well prove that humanity is on the right track, no matter what neighborhood is your destination.
Fred Rogers is deceased, and now America is a giant cesspool of a country. Coincidence? I hardly think so. If there was a way to resurrect him for just one more day, to remind us all that there is so much good in the world, that we can get past the whatever differences there are and work together in unity and harmony. We do not have these influences today…..Youtube videos are the best we have. However, watching videos is not quite the same. It’s like a baseball game. Sure, it’s comfortable to watch a big game at home in your pajamas, but actually being there at the venue, surrounded by devoted fans, exhibits a difference kind of experience. After all, I can’t help but wonder what Fred Rogers would say about the current state of our nation? What advice would he give to children that are now exposed to constant debauchery?
Well, here’s a video. This is for all the batshit crazy adults who believe commemorating violence in any form is acceptable. It is not. Show this to your kids. You’re welcome.