20 life lessons from Mister Rogers

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Ever since 1968 when Fred Rogers' television show first ran on the Eastern Educational Television Network, his character of "Mister Rogers" has reminded millions of children just how special they are.

Whether through a simple song or loving thought, Rogers had a way of connecting to anyone while on screen.

Rogers' television show, "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" successfully spoke to children about important topics, such as going to school, making friends, dealing with siblings -- and even difficult topics such as divorce, disabilities and bullying.

Rogers' statements still resonate today as his quote regarding scary images in the news circulated online after the bombings that took place at the Boston marathon. His popular statement said:

"When I was a child and would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"

As a former minister, Rogers always made an effort to stand up for what he knew to be right. Early on in his career, the young Rogers found himself in court in 1969 in order to express the importance of educational television.

At the time, funding for the public broadcasting system was on the brink of being cut in half and Rogers appeared before the United States Senate in order to prove the importance of such programming.

"I'm very much concerned, as I know you are, about what's being delivered to our children in this country," Rogers said.

He later stated when explaining his own personal show: "This is what I give, I give an expression of care everyday to each child. To help him realize that he is unique by saying, 'You've made this day a special day by just your being you."

Within just a few minutes of his message, Rogers caused the judge to express: "I'm supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I've had goosebumps in the last two days."

"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" would then go on to win four Emmy's, with Rogers' himself receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

After Rogers' passing in 2003, Marc Brown, the creator of the animated PBS series, gave a tribute to Rogers and the legacy he left as reported by the Post-gazette.

"Gosh, when you die, the one thing you want is to feel that your life is worth something," Brown said. Think of the millions of families and children he's touched and made their lives better and easier in some way."

The following are 20 remarks from Rogers that have taught life lessons to both children and adults.

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george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Nobody is perfect. Dis-ease's are contagious. Cure then with the three gifts you can give and still keep. Your smile, your heart and your word. Forgiveness is more for the giver to move into the future than the trespasser.

Orem, UT

I had a feeling the name Rogers was going to give you trouble. On the second page, you have "Rogers's had a strong opinion . . ." Then you have "Rogers' saw a television set . . ." Also, it's "Emmys," not "Emmy's."

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Funny, in the last election cycle we kept hearing from one of the parties, that Mr Rogers and PBS was a communist plot that should receive no funding.
Yet in reality Mr Rogers did far more for children than that party ever has.

The Solution
Dayton, OH

Many childhood hours were spent watching and learning from this great man. Thanks Fred Rogers for imparting your wisdom.

Saint Louis, MO

Mr. Rogers had quite a background. Wasn't he a Navy Seal and wore the sweater to cover up his tattoos? Just amazing that such a tough guy could interact with children so well.

Orem, UT

I loved growing up watching Mister Rogers, and I am very happy that his legacy lives on and that my kids can watch Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood and learn some of these same great lessons.

Rocky Mtn Lady
Columbus, MS

To bad your web master had to flip the article from Mr. Rogers 20 Life's Lessons to introduce the Jazz.

The Solution
Dayton, OH

No he was not a seal, nor a marine sharpshooter; no tattoos. He was an ordained minister and a lifelong broadcaster for the children's show. Not a mean bone in his body.

Cleveland, TN

Nice article about a very nice and caring man. I watched Daniel Tiger with my grandkids a year ago and it's a very fitting legacy to Fred Rogers. My daughter still remembers sitting and watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood when she was little.
Just wanted to mention, in case some folks don't know who Marc Brown is (something was missing from that paragraph in the article), that Marc Brown is the creator of the Arthur books and series, which is still showing on PBS.

Tooele, UT

In our cynical age, it can be tough sometimes, when we meet or hear of truly guileless people, to believe that anyone possibly could be that good, that nice, that kind. Surely, we think, it must be a put-on, an act; it must be simply a part of that person's "schtick," his "angle"; or, if it's not, it certainly cannot last.

Not so with Mr. Rogers. He truly loved people, especially children. What we saw really was what we got. He wasn't one person in front of a camera and a complete person everywhere else, or one person when everyone was watching and a complete other person when they weren't.

Few people are as genuine as he was. The world can never have enough exactly like him. And even hope, optimism, and trust that sometimes are betrayed are better than cynicism, pessimism, and distrust that always are rewarded.

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