A lot of people have been posting about the recent death of childhood educator Fred Rogers -- that's Mr. Rogers to you and me. Through those comments I was compelled to read more about the man... or at least more of his words. I have found a few things that I myself have been thinking about for some time now. Which leads me to wonder why it is that when I am thinking about something, I start to find it over and over again in everything I read? The only answer I can find is that I have always been coming into contact with these ideas, I've just ignored them for whatever reason. Perhaps they were concepts that made me uncomfortable so I skipped over and avoided them rather than opening myself up to them.
I didn't care for the Mr. Rogers program as a child. I liked some of the activities and I liked the puppets, but the show was too slow and I became impatient with the pace. I was an Electric Company/Sesame Street/Children's Television Workshop kid. In my childhood, everything was fast and chaotic; not slow, steady, thoughtful and deliberate like Mr. Rogers' neighbourhood. Makes sense I wouldn't be attracted to that. Maybe if I had been able to become engaged by the show as a child, I wouldn't be learning real patience now, in my late 20s.
Anyways, in reading the writing and words of Fred Rogers the theme of choices has come up several times. An example:
I'm not really in line with the who part, but the what part does interest me a great deal lately. I have always been interested in what makes people tick so I suppose it's not a new thing. What is sort of new is my approach to it. I think we enable us to make the choices we make. So amny choices are presented to us on any given day. Even when we chose to ignore or try to avoid them, we're still making a choice. I think about that alot.
It seems to me that Fred Rogers was attempting to be a positive contrast to the negative shit children face everyday around them that says that they aren't any good -- that they can not trust themselves to be capable of making choices.
Quotes are from: "Fred McFeely Rogers 2002 Commencement Address at Dartmouth College"