Won't You Be My Neighbor
With the new school year approaching, I started to think about children and their influences. The violent video games, children glued to their iPads and smartphones, playing fast-paced games of competition, most of which involve killing or capturing others. Oh, how I wish Mr. Rogers was alive to create an app for our children that would have a core aspect of kindness and tolerance.
The recent film I saw at Coligny Theater (Coligny Plaza, Hilton Head) about the children’s TV icon Fred Rogers is a thorough documentary/biography, which I highly recommend no matter your age. Since I am originally from the Pittsburgh area, I was aware of Mr. Rogers early on. Both my children watched him intently. His kind and quiet manner seemed to draw children close to him, to listen to him. Won’t You Be My Neighbor highlights how Rogers realized early in his career that the movement in children’s entertainment—with pies being thrown in faces and slipping on banana peels—was far from a message of kindness and tolerance toward one another. Rogers went in a totally different direction, using kindness and patience as his guide, and it worked.