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In Mr. Rogers’ memory, may we all be a good neighbor—especially to the most vulnerable among us

by | Feb 26, 2021

By Maria V. Gallagher, Legislative Director, Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation

Editor’s note. Hard as it is to believe, on Saturday it will be 18 years since Fred Rogers died. I asked Maria to reflect on a man who (in Maria’s words) “brought goodness and a sense of humanity to the medium of television.”

When I was a little girl, I longed to live in Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

 Fred Rogers was such a kind, gentle soul, and I wanted to answer the musical question he posed by saying, “Yes! I want to be your neighbor!”

I yearned to see his trolley up close, to be transported to a world of make believe where I could consort with King Friday and Queen Sara Saturday. I admit I was scared of the puppet Lady Elaine, who was known for her troublemaking ways. Nevertheless, I kept tuning into the PBS program day after day, eager to see what was going on in Mr. Rogers’ world.

Rogers, in his humble fashion, achieved greatness. He was a master of the art of entertainment for youngsters. Yet, with the entertainment came important truths…about the sacredness of feelings…about compassion…and about service.

Fred Rogers memes pop up on Facebook all the time, a sign of his lasting influence. In times of tragedy, I often think of his famous quote: “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

Mr. Rogers was such a helper. He aided so many children in dealing with the challenges in their lives through his simple, wise words. He brought goodness and a sense of humanity to the medium of television, offering an oasis of peace and tranquility to preschoolers and parents alike.

I am reminded of today’s helpers of children, those who contribute their time and talent to making the world a kinder, more life-affirming place. These are the heroes who reach out to pregnant women in challenging circumstances, helping to accompany both mother and child on their journeys.

Even in the wake of threats to innocent human life, there are helpers—some might call them angels—among us. They bring us hope in the midst of the darkness that can seem as if it is swallowing up our world.

In Mr. Rogers’ memory, may we all be a good neighbor—especially to the most vulnerable among us.    

Categories: Pro-Lifers
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