Mr. Rogers has had a post-humorous resurgence of late, and rightly so. The guy was amazing.
Last week, I watched the “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” documentary on Netflix. (Also, Tom Hanks will play Rogers in a new movie set to release in October 2019.) Fred Rogers inspired me with his radical and creative commitment to the well-being of children. Day after day, for 31 years, he inspired, encouraged, and uplifted children everywhere. The song, the sweater, the puppets, the principles… he was in a league of genuine gentlemen of his own.
But, toward the end of documentary, it was suggested that Rogers struggled at times with how he was perceived, fearing that he wasn’t taken seriously, or that adults didn’t understand the genius or mission behind the childlike curtain. He seemed to wrestle—to the end—with whether or not he was effective at influencing children and making the world a better place.
We all want to be understood and appreciated. Even Mr. Rogers. But famous Fred reminds us still: When in doubt, be childlike. And let people think what they want.
“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” -Jesus (Matthew 19:14)