Lessons from Mister Rogers

Random adventurous thoughts today. Or not. I’m still creating new content. Not much to say about that. Hita is experiencing its Kankousai Festival. It is essentially the Mikuma River opening festival. There are parades, games, music, food, and booming fireworks. The city is flooded with tourists from all over. Groups wander the city walking behind K-trucks with blaring music, periodically dancing. It’s an interesting background for creativity to flourish and social anxiety to blossom.

The news is bad. Military coups, murder, sexism, and other generally unpleasant information is flooding my various feeds. Then this article from NPR pops up.

Fred Rogers was an incredible human being in so many ways. The world lost a unique individual that shared a passion for so many things. The last few days have been difficult for me. I won’t bore you with the details, but certain realities have become clearer for me. I hope they are not so true and I don’t want to become a victim of pessimism or gloom, but the facts are hard to deny.

I find it necessary to find those inspiring moments or people when my mood shoves me in the muck. Then I read:

Fred Rogers’ attitude toward electronic media perfectly mirrored the love/hate relationship many of us have with technology today. “I got into television because I hated it so,” he told CNN in 2001. Over 33 years, he reached millions of households and won every award in the business. His position was simple: TV is here to stay, and its ubiquity and power must be harnessed for good, especially to help our youngest and most vulnerable. “In a young child’s mind, parents probably condone what’s on the television, just like they choose what’s in the refrigerator or on the stove,” he once said in an interview. “That’s why we who make television for children must be especially careful.”

Yeah. Mr. Rogers focused on a very narrow audience and presented a positive, creative view of the world. It was, is, wonderful. But, the real world is much more difficult than the carefully prepared world of his television show. Rejections fill my inbox, violence infiltrates my feeds, and willful ignorance smacks me in the face. I’m sure it is the same for everyone. Negativity takes its toll and drags even the most positive person with the strongest support system. Everyday is a battle to stay on target. Keeping those goals in sight is a centering exercise.

Argg. This darkness is too much.

I honestly don’t know where I’m going with this. Mostly, I wanted to share a childhood memory of Fred Rogers. His inspiration guided generations and his legacy continues to shine. He took something he saw as a negative and turned it positive. Perhaps that is all there really is.

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Where will it lead?

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