People Hated Mr. Rogers?

One of the most iconic people in my generation was a man named Mr. Fred Rogers. He gained popularity through a television show in which he produced, wrote, and starred in called Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, which aired on PBS. Last night I watched a documentary film (Won’t You Be My Neighbor) that went into detail about the life of Fred Rogers, his direct impact on public broadcasting television, and his genuine and remarkable love for all people, especially children.

I loved watching the documentary! I learned sooo much about Mr. Rogers through various testimonials from his wife, son, and co-workers. As a child when I was growing up a lot of people made fun of Mr. Rogers. But, I always had a weird connection with the show, even though Mr. Rogers seemed like an overly nice, sometimes weird, but interesting elderly man who had an affection for singing simple songs and interacting with children.

After viewing the documentary, I have a better understanding of who he was as a husband, a father, and as a man. I see him so differently now as I see him through the eyes of a mature adult and not of a child.

How you see anyone or anything will always be based upon your viewpoint. So, your truth may not necessarily be someone else’s truth, even if you are looking at the same thing.

Another point I learned after watching the documentary was how many people actually disliked and literally hated Fred Rogers. Even a Fox News anchor said that Mr. Rogers was an “evil man” (link). All because he told kids that they were special… just the way they are.

It shocked me that anyone could not like or respect a man who stood for so many good things. He was literally the nicest person on television for decades! He sang songs of love. His shows tackled major issues that many television shows would never discuss.

I believe Mr. Roger’s message of love and encouragement was just too much for certain people to handle. However, I also feel some people will always hate you no matter what. You could wake up every morning and bring them a hot cup of coffee with the biggest smile… and it would not matter at all. It’s often said that only love can conquer hate. I agree. But, at the same time I also feel that some people will always hate you, not simply because of who you are, but because of who they are and what they represent.

Let me tell you a secret… if a lot of people hated Mr. Rogers, they are definitely a lot of people who hate you.

So many people live their whole lives without feeling loved, or feeling that they are special… because of the constant negativity in our world. Fred Rogers worked to be an advocate of love through his ministry to children on public broadcasting. I’ll never forget how the Bible talks about Jesus’ affectionate love for children, and how it teaches us to love others. And, what better way to show your love to someone, than to speak words of life into their spirit giving them hope by telling them that they are special.

“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”

Fred Rogers

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