I have had the pleasure to see a new documentary honoring the life of Fred Rogers, Public Television’s friend to children everywhere. “Mister Rogers and Me” gives us the rare opportunity to learn more about a television star whose goal was to increase the acceptance of self and others in his young viewers.
We learn that this quiet man who reassured children was himself an overweight child who had been the victim of bullying. He turned this difficult experience for himself into a career and personal quest to offer acceptance and a sense of belonging to all of his audience.
What is most delightful is to discover that he “walked the walk.” He brought the same sense of acceptance, warmth, and calm to those he encountered in his life offscreen.
The acceptance of others he brought to his interactions would make any therapist proud — even the great Carl Rogers. Though he wasn’t a relative, I can see he was a kindred spirit. Both remind us of the true power of warmth, acceptance, compassion and being genuine in a world of too much noise, self-importance and role-playing.
There is real power in that calm acceptance. You can learn more about the film at www.misterrogersandme.com.