50 Years After Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood First Aired, Its Values Are Still Relevant
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired for the first time on February 19, 1968. The half-hour educational children’s show was hosted by Fred Rogers.
"It's such a good feeling"
The much loved series had a routine at the end of each episode. Fans remember the song "It's Such a Good Feeling" and remember Rogers' cardigans.
It held the record of the longest-running children’s television series until "Sasame Street" broke its record in 2002.
His lasting legacy
On the show’s 50th anniversary, a biopic is in the works. Veteran actor Tom Hanks will bring Mr. Rogers back to life, and this is exciting. There's perhaps no better person who will embody Roger's grandfatherly wisdom better.
The pioneer of children's television taught generations how to be imaginative and curious. He also taught love and respect.
We have made a list of lessons by Mr. Rogers that remain relevant:
1. He made patience relatable
Rogers believed that building mutually caring relationships required kindness as much as it required an ability to give without dwelling on the gains.
2. "Love is a noun, like struggle."
He did not think of love as a thing that was synonymous with perfection. According to Mr. Rogers:
To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.
He wore cardigans made by his mother on the show not just because he liked them. In wearing them, he hoped to teach his viewers about love.
3. Think of everyone as a neighbor.
The story has been told of an encounter between the TV man and a fan who had grown up watching the show. After he apologized for keeping Rogers from his appointments, he said these words that have continued to ring true:
Sometimes, you're right where you need to be.
Every day is a new opportunity to be kinder, more generous, more caring.
If you messed up yesterday, that’s okay. I did too. I’m imperfect & impatient. But I’m trying. We all are.
Every day is a chance to be a better neighbor.
I learned that from Mister Rogers. #MisterRogers50
— Erin Ruberry (@erinruberry) February 19, 2018
4. Learning and playing can go together.
This is probably the most important thing Mr. Rogers taught us. The series was as entertaining as it was informative. He made it clear that it was easy to have fun while you gained new insights.
5. "People can like you just the way you are."
Mr. Rogers said this at the end of each episode while he was doing his final routine:
There's only one person in the whole world that's like you, and that's you. And people can like you just/exactly the way you are.
— DEFpgh ???? (@DEFpgh) February 19, 2018
The return of Mr. Rogers
It's great that his legacy is enjoying a much deserved come-back 15 years after he passed on. In June, a documentary feature film about the series, titled Won't You Be My Neighbor?, will be released.
The U.S. Postal Service will also commemorate Mr. Rogers on a stamp in March, the same month he was born. March 20 would have been his 90th birthday.
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