The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers focuses on Fred Rogers' spiritual legacy, but it is more than that. It is about a man who, to paraphrase the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "preached the gospel.
The Sexy Nerd ‘Revue’
For the longest time I've had this book on my to-read shelf, but had not had time to get around to reading it. I think part of that is because I wasn't sure what to expect from it. But, I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. Actually, I'm not quite sure why I was surprised because Hollingsworth did an amazing job outlining the man, Fred Rogers, and what he signified to the vast majority.
One of the things I loved about Mister Rogers is the fact that he deliberately took his time. I marveled at his ability to remain calm no matter what was happening within his surroundings. He demonstrated that expertly on television, and apparently, this carried on through his personal life as well. As with most human beings, there is always that one person we can credit who helped shape and mold us into the person we will one day become, and Mister Rogers wasn't any different. His grandmother shared a special gift with young Fred that would forever change the course his life would follow.
It did come as a bit of a shock to learn that he was an ordained minister, although I shouldn't be surprised by that because his whole persona sort of demonstrated that. I suppose as a reader, it's always a joy to discover things about a person that you had never known. I used to watch his show all the time when I was little and the things he taught me are lessons I still carry with me to this very day.
His soothing and calming nature always made me feel at peace and I loved how he let me know that I am special. He told his viewing audience that each and every time he was on set. But one of the biggest lessons I took away from him was it's ok to think bad thoughts as long as I didn't act upon them. For some odd reason, I've lived my whole life by those very words. Because truth be told, if I were to act on what I think, the world would most definitely be a different place and many wouldn't be in it. (chuckle).
Mister Rogers' naysayers often criticized that he couldn't be the way he was on television as in his personal life. I'd like to think the opposite is true, in which Hollingsworth demonstrated through her friendship with Mister Rogers. What you saw of the man on television was the same soul away from the camera. Many people said that no one can be that good? But, Fred Rogers was. He was his true and genuine self and I will always respect and love him for that. He was as real as real can get. If more people were to reveal their true selves, perhaps a great many issues we experience in the world wouldn't happen. It's always good to know where a person is coming from. And Mister Rogers definitely let us know.
This was an outstanding read and very heartfelt. I miss Mister Rogers, but his memories and kind words resonate with me through my journey in life, as I'm sure it does with others. If you want to learn more about Mister Rogers' strong beliefs and how they impacted the man he became, this is the book to read.
The Sexy Nerd gives The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers five faithful stars. A very short read, but one that will bring joy to your soul. I think we all could use a little of that. Enjoy!