"Of course, I get angry. Of course, I get sad. I have a full range of emotions. I also have a whole smorgasbord of ways of dealing with my feelings. That is what we should give children. Give them ... ways to express their rage without hurting themselves or somebody else. That's what the world needs."
For any of you who grew up watching Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, you know that he was no ordinary guy.
I remember how much I looked forward to seeing Mr. Rogers once I discovered his show. I watched every chance I got - my favorite thing was seeing the Trolley that took us to the Kingdom of Make Believe. I've always been a fan of trains, and that Trolley was so cool.
I remember Mr. Rogers' songs, and can still sing a lot of them from memory. I remember the tours he used to take the audience on, to show us how things were made - and how different people did different things in different parts of the world.
When he introduced us to his friends around the neighborhood, they seemed like my friends, too. I always wanted to go visit that neighborhood for real.
What I remember most of all is the consistent message he sent: We're all different, and that's OK because we each bring a unique value and perspective to the world. He seemed to maintain a child-like innocence throughout his life, and spread tremendous energy in a way that mattered somehow. Not just in the big things, but in the small things, too.
We need more people like Mr. Rogers.