There are photos of me as a young, diapered toddler staring intently at the television screen, my eyes trained on a kind and soft-spoken man in a buttoned-up sweater (I suspect the reason there are many photos of me doing this is because I was a true demon-toddler who only stood still to watch TV). There is literally photographic proof that Mister Rogers was an important part of my life from the very beginning stages.
So, that said, I will protect this man at all costs and I am totally excited for A) The upcoming movie about Fred played by America’s favorite Dad, Tom Hanks, and B) the Page Chaser November Book Club for The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers.
As your resident audiobook nerd, I have been listening to the audiobook of The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers. It’s excellent, 10/10, would recommend. I love hearing the story from the author, Amy Hollingsworth. She obviously cares about Fred Rogers and you can tell as she narrates the audiobook.
Whilst listening to the audiobook, here’s a couple things that blew my mind and also confirmed my notions that Mister Fred Rogers was a pure human being:
Mister Rogers Hated Television (at one point)
The reason that Mister Rogers decided that he wanted to start a television show was because “I got into television [was] because I saw people throwing pies at each other’s faces, and that to me was such demeaning behavior. And if there’s anything that bothers me, it’s one person demeaning another. That really makes me mad!” That’s right folks, television invoked the quiet, gentle rage of our friend Fred. And because of that rage, we have one of the greatest children’s programs of all time. In fact, he postponed going to seminary because of this rage, which is another fact I previously did not know about Fred.
Fred Says Relax
It was the culture of the entire Neighborhood production team to keep things calm and slow. Mister Rogers knew that kids’ lives were hurried and frantic as is, so he made it a mission to keep the pacing of the entire Mister Rogers show calm. “For me, being quiet and slow is being myself, and that is my gift.” – A gift it is, Fred. It truly is.
Silence was Sacred
“Just be quiet and think,” was a mantra that Mister Rogers subscribed to, and he really thought it was super important for our souls to just stop and be silent on a regular basis. In fact, he wrote the author, Amy Hollingsworth, a letter about how she had given her children a gift by teaching them the importance of silence. The idea that silence is a skill that we can teach and pass down to our children? A thought that had literally never occurred to me before. I guess I need to stop and be silent more often.
“When we accept ourselves, we are more likely to accept our neighbor.”
That is a thought that blew my mind: so true, so simple. If we can’t accept ourselves, then how can we expect to be at peace with our neighbor? I think this plays into the idea of being silent and allowing for calm, since it’s those moments where we can self-reflect and start building some peace. Nuggets of wisdom from Mister Rogers, right there.
I’m still making my way through this inspiring book (seriously, give this one a listen) and you should join me and the rest of the Page Chaser team for the November Book Club. You can also enter for a chance to win our AMAZING Mister Rogers Instagram Sweepstakes.
Want to start reading? You can listen to the first chapter of the audiobook right now: