General

Mr. Rogers’ Moving, $20 Million Speech

Thanks, Paul…

Mr. Rogers, in 1969, went to the Washington to ask for funding for his children’s TV program.

He recited the words to this little song, whose lyrics the children helped provide…

“What do you do with the mad that you feel?”

His program, he said, offered something besides shooting each other “with the mad that you feel.” That, said Mr. Rogers, was what children saw on all the other other TV programs.

He got $20 million in 6 minutes.

NOTE

N0 hype.
No promises.
No big words.

Here goes – 6:50 minutes

P.S. Why Mr. Rogers got into television in the first place…

“I got into television because I hated it so,” he said. “And I thought there was some way of using this fabulous instrument to be of nurture to those who would watch and listen.”

More good discussion on Reddit. See here

About the author

Kim Klaver

28 Comments

  • Kim, this piece brought tears to my eyes. Mr. Rogers had sincerity, a mission and humbleness. He didn’t need to use hype or cleverness to get his message across. A lesson to all of us.
    Judy

  • What do WE do with the mad that we feel? We come to Kim Klaver and learn how to turn it into something good.

    Excellent video! Thanks Paul, for sharing…and I loved your blogs too.

  • Mr Rogers… turning children into spoiled brats since 1969. The “I like you just the way you are” attitude makes kids believe they are “okay” even if their behavior was incorrect from a social standpoint. It provided a confusing message to children that conflicted with parental guidance. “I can stop when I wish” ??? Well, heaven forbid the child listen to his or her mother and just not doing what he or she wishes.

  • while I certainly understand anonymous’s point that Mr. Rogers probably did contribute in some ways to the epidimic of selfishness in our current culture, I also can say that I was personally very touched by Mr. Rogers as a child and I think his positive influence from a young age greatly helped in determining many of the positive characteristics of my adult personality.
    That was quite a run on. Regardless, I’m a total fan of Roger’s work, I think that his influence was far more positive on american youth than negative in the long run.

  • “Mr Rogers… turning children into spoiled brats since 1969.”

    I can stop when I wish was meant to engender the idea that you can stop yourself before violent ideas or plans in your mind were realized in the physical world. It wasn’t meant to conflict with parental guidance, rather to reinforce the idea that you are in control of your actions, positive or negative – you can stop negative behavior if you want, it does not have to control you.

  • This video just shows how it’s far too easy for our elected representatives to spend our money. This particular cause was a good one (though I suspect there may be something to that selfishness argument), but keep this in mind– Congress spends tens and hundreds of millions of dollars on bad causes just as casually.

  • “Why can’t we have more soft spoken intelligent caring people like him in the world?”

    Well, if you want one of those type of people to be our next U.S. President, then support and vote for Ron Paul!

  • I dont understand, anonymous, how you think you think this man could teach selfishness. He is trying to teach these kids control, something that is vastly lacking in todays culture. In our society we feel most of our feelings should be validated, no matter how crazy or out of control. Thats completely bull****. What we need is to understand that we all feel mad/crazy/hate/love at some point, and we have to have control and deal with all of those feelings, otherwise they consume us. I have a ton of respect for Mr. Rogers.

  • What a visionary Mr. Rogers was! At a time when mental health wasn’t a primary concern of a person’s complete well-being, Mr. Rogers was in Washington asking for funding to help children with self-identity and self-control. So many anti-social behaviors are learned during childhood and he recognized this fact and knew a good way to correct it. Being in control of one’s feelings and knowing when to stop and keep yourself in-check is not a form of selfishness, but rather the most decent way to act in a civilized society. If only he were still around to reach out to today’s youth…

  • he comes off a little creepy in the video for some reason, probably just because his reference with ‘the children’.

    He looks a lot like Edward Norton btw.

  • What a wonderful and touching statement. How many of us remember Fred Rodgers was a Presbyterian minister? But what did it matter: he spoke to every child, everywhere.

    Hearing him speak about his mission, you have no doubt how deeply he loved and cared for children. I watched him every day as a child. He was my favorite TV neighbor. I didn’t know about it, didn’t think about it at the time, but he taught us about life with a steadfast reassurance and the escape of make-believe. He encouraged us to be creative, to think, to feel and to learn.

    His programs are still running. How many of our children are watching him? And will their children watch him?

  • Mr. Rogers taught self control, self respect and respect for others.

    Unfortunately, too many kids were watching other shows instead of watching Mr.Rogers.

    What he accomplished in this short video is astounding!

    Rose

  • As a heavy handed right leaning Libertarian, Ron Paul is NOTHING like Mr Rogers, and it is an insult to even make the comparison. If Ron Paul was in power, children would be much worse off… the rich-poor divide would be even worse than it is now, women’s rights would be stomped on, and the US would become even more isolationist and unitary in its foreign policy. Ron Paul is not a good man.

  • I did not watch Mr. Rogers when I was a child, and I was worse off for it. I had a wonderful mother and father, but they could not communicate with me the way Mr. Rogers could… and they always found it hard to “teach me” things other than numbers and words, grammar and sports.

    I was in the 6th grade when some kids were pushing me around in the lunch line at school. Had I heard this song (and taken it to heart), the anger I felt towards these bullies wouldn’t have spun out of control and I would not have swung my lunchbox and put 2 kids in the hospital that day.

  • Re: “The “I like you just the way you are” attitude makes kids believe they are “okay” even if their behavior was incorrect from a social standpoint.”

    I don’t think it’s healthy to tell a child “I don’t like you anymore because you did something wrong.”

    I think it is healthy to tell children that you like them but sometimes you don’t like their behavior.

    And on top of that it seems like he was encouraging good character, personal responsibility and good decision making.

    It doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me.

  • I believe if that his standpoint on telling children That they are good just as they are is an AWESOME idea. The bologna that someone said earlier about if the children had bad social behavior or whatever, Bad behavior usually comes from a stint of someone feeling awkward about themselves or that they do not belong socially, so they act out to the point where the eventually believe they are bad and have to show it to others that they are. If someone had told them long before that they are were ok they way they were then there would be no social disturbances in them…so therefore they would be accepted and not have to act out. Just my opinion…P.S. Man I miss that little trolly that use to drive through on the show…puppets alittle creepy but still a good concept…Its still the parents responsibility to teach right from wrong…and they are not stepping up to their jobs as parents, they to worried about what happened to their freedom and fun they had when they were younger before they had unprotected sex. Selfishness overcomes instincts, and the world becomes overburdened with “what can you do for me?” spoiled brats, so don’t blame it on a genuinely sincere man like Fred Rogers.

  • What an awesome video. I remember watching Mr. Rogers everyday when I was little, and every now and then, I’ll catch a quick clip channel surfing. Mr. Rogers was the man!

  • What was/is/always-will-be great about Mr. Rogers is that he not only lets kids know that what they feel is okay, but also what makes them special. He does the same thing for grown-ups too.

  • It’s surprising to see how different people react to Mr. Rogers.

    Yes he was diffferent, yes he was passionate about helping and working with kids. What’s wrong with that?

    Many times I feel adults can’t relate to the Mr. Rogers the way our children can.

    Mr. Rogers followed his passion and made many children feel special being who they were.

  • I would buy the whole collection of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood if it were available on DVD. It would be fun to watch even now that I have grown up. I’m sure some day my children will enjoy it.

  • I loved Mister Rogers. I still love him. This video made me cry and remember how much his neighborhood influenced my life. I was born in 1969 and Mister Rogers was my friend. I never missed an episode. A few years ago I was in a very low place, mentally and spiritually speaking, you know how circumstances can really get to you. The television had been left on from the night before, so when I awoke that morning; there he was, my long forgotten friend telling me, reminding me that I had a place in this world and that I was special just for being me. I cried and felt so much better at the same time. There will never be another sweet soul like him.

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