by Elisa Romeo
Since writing this blog we have had the honor of interviewing Officer Clemmons from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Listen Here.
I recently went to see the documentary about Mr. Rogers’s life, Won’t You Be My Neighbor. At about 4 minutes into the movie, Mr. Rogers enters onto the screen. As a clairsentient-empath-intuitive watching, I am not just seeing Mr. Rogers the man, but feeling Mr. Roger’s Soul. And Mr. Roger’s Soul is beyond generous, crystal clear in his heart-mission, and carries a huge transmission of direct Love healing for children (and inner-children) everywhere. Mr. Rogers is medicine.
I was immediately aware I was going to start crying. Not a little gentle sniffle, but I could feel I was gearing up for the big guns–the ugly cry about to descend over the small town theater with low seats where we can all see each other very distinctly. I went to the bathroom to get a long piece of toilet paper and came back to my seat, preparing to bawl my eyes out.
I have always had a deep love and respect for the healing nature of Fred Rogers work. Many people do not know that he was an ordained minister and saw his show as a useful medium to connect to children and teach them that they had permission to feel whatever they were feeling and that they truly mattered. Without bringing dogma or religion into the show, his ministry of kindness and Love is apparent. His songs convey the message that you are special just the way you are.
Scrolling down the comments under Mr. Rogers videos on youtube one thing becomes apparent–This man changed many lives.
“I’m a freshman in college and next week is finals week. I’ve been feeling incredibly overwhelmed, but after watching one episode of this show I am completely at peace and calm. Fred Rogers was an incredible man and I’m so grateful we’re still able to see his works.”
“Im currently 3 months pregnant and I for some reason heard the opening piano keys the other say and it brought me back to this show. Being a young single mom is scary but Im watching these episodes I get a sense of comfort.”
“‘I’m a 20 year old man watching this alone in my bedroom. I haven’t seen an episode of this show since before i was 4. I’m actually crying right now. While watching this i realized how much of who i am now was shaped by Mr Rogers, not his show, but the actual man. When he says he likes us for who we are, you can feel that he means it. That feeling of genuine warmth and care was so important to me growing up, i can’t overstate it.”
“I’m 30 years old I suffer from PTSD and panick attacks. When I feel flashbacks coming on or panic attacks, I immediately put this on to help me. I wish I could tell him that.”
Why is Mr. Rogers such important medicine? We can view him through the lens of an overly-simple man, maybe even boring or too obvious–but we humans crave reflection, desperately. We live in a fast-paced world that doesn’t always value feelings. Yet, to be healthy mature functional adults we need space to honor the inner child. I often see in sessions that many problems could be fixed if the individual could slow down and comfort or reflect their inner child’s feelings. I often mention to these clients that watching a little Mr. Rogers may sound silly, but is actually quite effective to bring comfort, compassion and kindness to re-parenting or inner-child work.
These may sound like sweet, simple sentiments, but anyone who is actively attempting to choose kindness in every moment recognizes Mr. Rogers as spiritual warrior level.
Watching Mr. Rogers convince the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee to not pull his funding for his show is another example of how he brought grace to life challenges, and embodied his ideals through his communication. (Watch the cynical judge melt before your eyes!)
How do we bring Love to a bully? To divorce? To a death? To war? These are the big questions Mr. Rogers tried to answer in developmentally appropriate ways for children.
Also, here is a sweet clip about Mr. Roger’s effect on a young girl with a seizure disorder. Get your tissues! You’re gonna need ’em!