Thirteen Things I Learned From Mr. Rogers


Today, March 20, would have been Mr. Rogers’ 80th birthday and is Wear Your Favorite Sweater Day. In honor of this, David Newell (Mr. McFeely), public relations director for Family Communications, Inc. the nonprofit company founded in 1971 by Fred Rogers, has asked that: “. . . everyone (including members of the media) everywhere (from Pittsburgh to Paris) to wear their favorite sweater on that day. . . It doesn’t have to have a zipper down the front like the one Mister Rogers wore on the program, it just has to be special to you.” If you didn’t get the sweater memo before getting dressed this morning, then just take a minute to think about the contribution Fred Rogers made to the world with his children’s television program.

1. “You make each day a special day. You know how, by just you being you. There’s only one person in this whole world like you. And people can like you exactly as you are.”
2. Where orange crayons come from
3. How to make believe
4. It’s important to be a good neighbor
5. Model railroad trollies are cool!
6. They might grow on trees, but you don’t eat pine needles or bark. You do eat apples and bananas though.
7. Be sure to feed your pet
8. Put on your sweater one sleeve at a time
9. It’s OK to feel shy or sad sometimes.
10. I won’t go down the drain with the bath water (“You can never go down/Can never go down/Can never go down the drain.”)
11. “You know, you don’t have to look like everybody else to be acceptable and to feel acceptable.”
12. “Did you know/ Did you know/ Did you know that it’s alright to wonder/ Did you know that it’s alright to wonder/ There are all kinds of wonderful things”
13. “If you will look carefully/ Listen carefully/ You will find a lot of things carefully/Look… And listen”

Bonus: When you’re angry “pound some clay and make things out of clay, and sing a song or write a poem.”

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