Of course, at times some of the quotes tend towards the sappy. Fred's middle name wasn't "McFeely" for nothing. (I'm not kidding. That really was his middle name. At least it was for a good reason--remember Mr. McFeely on the show? He was named after Mister Rogers' grandfather.) But every page, even when overly sentimental, has a thoughtful and admirable truth.
Here's one of my favorites. "Solitude is different from loneliness, and it doesn't have to be a lonely kind of thing." I could have written that myself, if I had a habit of making up pithy sayings. I love to be alone, and it seems not many people understand that. Another good one, which puts into words something I really hope to instill in my kids: "I believe it's a fact of life that what we have is less important than what we make out of what we have."
Though each page was full of simple wisdom, I didn't always completely agree with every quote. When Mister Rogers said, "It always helps to have people we love beside us when we have to do difficult things in life," the first thing that came to my mind was that it helps me more to listen to loud music. But then that mainly applies to my "difficult thing" of cleaning the house. I've come to find that sort of task is made much easier with a soundtrack. Onerous chores are more palatable if I can do them while "wiggling my jiggly old butt." (Courtesy of my youngest. Don't I have great kids?)
Enough about my butt, the jiggliness of which I will neither confirm nor deny. The book gives a good feel for what kind of man Fred Rogers was, especially with the foreword by his wife Joanne and the short bio at the end, but it just scratches the surface. I'm left wanting to read a biography of Fred Rogers. Do you know of a good one?
|Won't you be my neighbor?|