Thursday, March 20, 2014

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

Today is Fred Rogers birthday! It's also the first day of Spring. And it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

I feel a connection with Mr. Rogers because 1) he was a Presbyterian minister, as am I; 2) he was a musician, as am I; and 3) he liked to wear cardigan sweaters and sneakers. Okay, well, two out of three ain't bad!

And even though I was 11 years old (and practically an adult!) in 1968 when the television show Mr. Rogers Neighborhood first aired, I still have fond memories of Mr. McFeely, Queen Sara, and the opening theme song Won't You be My Neighbor. I also remember well Eddie Murphy's parody of the show on Saturday Night Live in the early 80s, which Rogers himself allegedly described as "amusing and affectionate." Murphy's parody was funny stuff, I think, albeit a bit edgy!

In recognition of Rogers birthday, PBS Parents posted the following quote from Mr. Rogers regarding his philosophy about children and sense of self: "You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are."

As a therapist and counselor, I often work with clients who struggle with low self esteem -- a less-than-positive sense of self based on the perception that who they are as individuals is just not very good. Often these perceptions are the result of past experiences that have left them feeling like they're pretty much worthless and don't have much to offer the world. Conversely, when children are taught to feel good about themselves -- that they have value and deserve to be valued -- they tend to make better choices in life. And so, it follows that if we teach our children to have positive self regard, that goes a long way toward helping them make healthy, positive choices in life. I think Rogers understood that. It was surely reflected in his work.

Rogers made the world special. And you know how? By just being himself.

Can you say more about that? I knew you could...


  1. Excellent in both writing quality and 'substance'. I enjoyed your blog a lot.