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My Superhero - Mr Rogers

Updated on December 20, 2013

Mr Rogers, a superhero with wisdom

Superheros are strong. They fly in to distressing situations and save good people from disaster. In comic books they are strong on the outside - maybe they have a sword or some other sort of weapon to do their work.

Mr Rogers was a little different. He did not look like a superhero on the outside, but he flew into many distressing situations to help people, especially kids, to recover and grow into new understandings of life. He was strong on the inside, and didn't need a sword, because he was wise. His gentleness was his strength. On this page you will find some of the deep wisdom of Mr. Rogers.

photo credit: Pennsylvania Center for the Book

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Mr Rogers quotes and wisdom
Mr Rogers quotes and wisdom

For Mr Rogers, beginnings and endings were very important

When a family has to move to a new neighborhood, the end of their time in that house is making them hurt. But there is also a new beginning that will come, when they move into their new house. There will be new friends, a new school, and many new possibilities. Mr Rogers talked about this a lot.

Mr. Rogers said,

"Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else."

We can't see the future, but it is easy for people to assume it won't be good, because they can't imagine the good things that might happen to them. Mr Rogers liked to encourage a more optimistic attitude so we could move into the future with a positive attitude.

Link to quote

About friendship - (Mr Rogers with Mr McFeely, the postman)

Mr Rogers Mr McFeely
Mr Rogers Mr McFeely

Always talking about friends and friendship, Mr Rogers encouraged children to learn how to be a good friend. I can remember hearing him give a talk about how children could fight one day and be best friends again the next day. Part of learning how to be a friend is learning to how to work things out after a disagreement and become even stronger friends.

Mr Rogers said,

"One of life's greatest joys is the comfortable give and take of a good friendship. It's a wonderful feeling not only to have a friend, but to know how to be a friend yourself."

Link to quote

Mr Rogers quotes and wisdom
Mr Rogers quotes and wisdom

Who were the heros for Mr Rogers?

Mr. Rogers knew what was needed in the world. Deep love and attention to a wider circle of people that the ones in our family, school and work. Attention, respect, and care for everyone he met was his way of life. But those people who worked to help children, they were the real heroes.

Mr. Rogers said,

"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."

link to quote

He also said,

When I was a boy I used to think that strong meant having big muscles, great physical power, but the longer I live, the more I realize that real strength has much more to do with what is not seen. Real strength has to do with helping others."

The star is Mr Rogers own star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was indeed a star.

(photo elynmac)

link to quote

Who are the heros? - Mr Rogers answers

Wisdom in times of disaster

Mr Rogers helpers
Mr Rogers helpers

The full quote is:

"When I was a boy...my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world."

It is not surprising that people turned to Mr Rogers looking for wisdom after recent disasters. It is so easy to get scrambled when you have a catastrophe or disaster. Mr Rogers is no longer with us, but he had left us with beautiful advice from one of his programs. When disasters happen, people remember what he said and gain comfort and solace.

This is shockingly true - wherever there is disaster, you will find people running in to help. Thank you, Mr. Rogers, and a special thank you to your Mom, for showing us this.

Please click here to watch a video of Mr. Rogers talking about tragic events in the news, link to quote

Sketch by elynmac

On doing the best we can do

Mr Rogers was kind to everyone, and we can also be kind to ourselves

This quote is a wonderful reminder that we can do our best, but we shouldn't be hard on ourselves if things don't work out. Doing the best we can is already excellent, no matter how well we do in a competition. Rejoice!

Mr Rogers said,

"Some days, doing 'the best we can' may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect - on any front - and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else."

link to quote

He also said,

"I'm proud of you for the times you came in second, or third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you had ever done."

link to quote

Mr Rogers on "What is Success?"

"There are three ways to ultimate success:

The first way is to be kind.

The second way is to be kind.

The third way is to be kind."

link to quote

"The thing I remember best about successful people I've met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they're doing and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they're doing, and they love it in front of others."

link to quote

On the importance of being YOU

It is not an easy thing to imagine that we are important to the people we meet. Sometimes a person tells me something that I said to them years ago that was just what they needed to hear. I think - "What? I don't remember that at all!" But it happened, and it was meaningful to them.

So many things happen in a day, and we forget so many of them as we sleep. But if our smile was important for one person we met along the way, we have done a wonderful thing.

Mr Rogers said,

"If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person."

link to quote

You are special

and liked for who you are - for being you.

We do get a lot of messages from society, especially from advertising, that we are missing something, lacking something, that something is wrong with us, that we are too this or not enough of that.

What did Mr Rogers say?

You are my friend

You are special

You are my friend

You're special to me.

You are the only one like you.

Like you, my friend, I like you.

In the daytime

In the nighttime

Any time that you feel's the right time

For a friendship with me, you see

F-R-I-E-N-D special

You are my friend

You're special to me.

There's only one in this wonderful world

You are special.

You are special because there is only one person like you. And you are okay just the way you are. This is such an encouraging message for all of us.

link to quote

The "You are Special" song

Did you know that Mr Rogers prayed for people he met? - His love and regard were there through both good and bad times

Mr Rogers quotes
Mr Rogers quotes

Mr Rogers would get up very early in the morning so he could pray for people. And he prayed for many. One of the best stories I have read about his kindness to people he met, no matter who they were, no matter where they lived, is a story from a journalist who met Mr. Rogers and stayed in touch. The journalist credits him with saving his marriage.

Perhaps you know someone whose marriage is in trouble? They might like to read this story about Mr. Rogers and his letters to the journalist who thought he would have to get divorced.

'Mister Rogers Saved My Marriage'

TV's Fred Rogers prayed for me during a difficult time. And his prayers were effective.

sketch by elynmac

Fred Rogers books for children

Mr Rogers wrote a set of photographic picture books for parents to use when their child had a first experience of going to daycare, or going on an airplane, and other "first experience" topics. They are very simple, but very clear. Lots of wisdom here.

Mr Rogers Legacy

This story happened a number of years ago, but it is as beautiful as ever

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Has Mr. Rogers changed the world? I know he has. For one thing, he spoke to kids directly, eyes big and wide looking right at the camera. For another thing, he dealt fearlessly with topics that most people would rather avoid. In doing so, he provided a good role model for parents. One of the subjects he wrote a book about was death.

This is a story that is on the internet that shows Mr Rogers legacy coming to us on angel's wings.

The story goes like this:

A family had a dog named Abbey who passed away, and M, the 4 year old daughter in the family was unconsolable. She came up with the idea that perhaps she could write God a letter to make things easier for Abbey when she arrived in heaven to be with God. It was a very sweet impulse.

M's Mom was very sensitive, and agreed. This is the letter that was dictated:

"Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick. I hope you will play with her. She likes to swim and play with balls. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her you will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, M

The letter was put in an envelope and addressed to God in Heaven, with the return address written in the corner of the envelope. I thought that was one of the smartest things that happened in this story. M wanted to make sure that God would know which of all the dogs her beloved Abbey was, so they put in a photo and added a lot of stamps to the front so it would have enough postage to get all the way to heaven.

I suppose the family was not really expecting a reply, but in a few days a special package arrived at their house. It was covered in gold paper, and caused quite a stir. When M opened it, there was Mr. Rogers book, "When A Pet Dies," with the photo and her letter taped to the book. There was also a letter that told M that the dog was in heaven with God, and was not only there, but also in M's heart. It went on to say:

"Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much. By the way, I'm easy to find. I am wherever there is love.

Love, God"

After thinking about this story, I was touched how all three of the people involved were "heroes" in Mr Roger's eyes. The child was a hero for expressing her deepest feelings. The mother was a hero for talking to her daughter with such sensitivity and kindness, and whoever got the letter, and answered it with the book and "letter from God," was an amazing human being who knew exactly how to relate to a child like M. Isn't it a beautiful story? The World is full of helpers and heroes.

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The book that arrived in the golden box for Meredith

See Mr. Rogers visit to the Crayon Factory - It is on the Fred Rogers Center site

Mr Rogers goes to the crayon factory
Mr Rogers goes to the crayon factory

Mr Rogers always liked to show kids how things were made, and how they came into being. He visited places like the crayon factory, the graham cracker factory, an emergency room at a hospital and a recycling center. He also went overseas to Russia, so kids could see what it was like on the other side of the world.

If you click this link you will go to a very clear presentation of Mr. Rogers' visit to the crayon factory. I checked on youtube, and the videos were all poor copies. This one comes from the Fred Rogers Center, is original and you can see everything quite clearly. But it can't be embedded into this page, so you will have to go to the link. I know you will enjoy it. Just click here:

Fred Rogers Center video of the crayon factory

Has Mr Rogers touched you? Did you watch him on television when you were small? - Please leave your thoughts and say hi to your neighbors!

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    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
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      Elyn MacInnis 3 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @Faye Rutledge: I agree!

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      My kids loved to watch Mr Rogers. I gave my grandson some videos of his program. It was one of the best kids programs ever, I think.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
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      Elyn MacInnis 3 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @Old Navy Guy: Thank you - I think Mr. Rogers was a really important force in the world while he was alive. Still is...

    • Old Navy Guy profile image

      Old Navy Guy 3 years ago

      What a really great tribute to a fine man. There was much more to Mr. Roger's than his TV persona and I believe you captured the best of him. I can see why you were awarded the Purple Star for this lens, thank you again for an excellent lens.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
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      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @anonymous: Always nice to see you! Yes - I know he is busy from another place. Dear Mr. Rogers.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was here a while back and just saw my note that I couldn't post a comment for some reason. Mr. Rogers wasn't around when I was a child but my kids and grands have grown with him....he caused children and the adults that listened to him to grow on the inside. I loved his gentle spirit and "what if" way of teaching...he stretched imaginations in wonderful ways and we are blessed for having had him in our world....now singing with the angels! :)

    • profile image

      Scott A McCray 4 years ago

      Excellent choice for a Super Hero! A very nice tribute...

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 4 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I loved Mr. Rogers as a child. What a wonderful tribute you have created here and truly moving.

    • PaigSr profile image

      PaigSr 4 years ago from State of Confussion

      First I Thank You for this lens. It has brought back many memories of growing up. Purple panda in the neighborhood of make-believe is one of that I am not able to forget. I also had a local library get rid of a Mr. Rogers VHS tape. Our player did not work but I was not about to let it go.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
      Author

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @DrBillSmithWriter: You are so welcome. I love Mr Rogers. We have our own version of The Neighborhood here, with lots of wonderful, sharing and caring people. I'm glad you are my neighbor!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 4 years ago from Hollister, MO

      For sure! My 53 year old now professor daughter never missed him... still shares and espouses his teaching as part of her own. Me too, for that matter. Thanks for all the neat reminders in this lens! ;-)

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image
      Author

      Elyn MacInnis 4 years ago from Shanghai, China

      @choosehappy: He was a real superhero - I was a babysitter by the time he came onto television, but I enjoyed watching his show too.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 4 years ago from US

      Oh goodness, Mr. Rogers was a staple in my life as a kid.....every single day! I still remember most of all the songs and characters...great memories ;)