Monday, July 28, 2008

It's good not to be the best, in fact that's the best thing

I've forwarded and/or posted hundreds of articles, essays, Op-Eds, pieces of writing in the last few years. Some are political, others are cultural, a few obscure scientific and others are too-broad and deep to be easily classifiable. Though a small part of me feels like I should be creating/producing something like those, most of me is thrilled that there are such brilliant people out there so that I can merely enjoy/be stimulated by the discovery.

Today's reefer is from Mental Floss courtesy of The 15 reasons Mr. Rogers was the best neighbor ever. I'm not going to steal the whole, but pick three to whet the clicketite.

2. He made thieves think twice. According to a TV Guide piece on him, Fred Rogers drove a plain old Impala for years. One day, however, the car was stolen from the street near the TV station. When Rogers filed a police report, the story was picked up by every newspaper, radio and media outlet around town.

Amazingly, within 48 hours the car was left in the exact spot where it was taken from, with an apology on the dashboard. It read, "If we'd known it was yours, we never would have taken it."

5. He might have been the most tolerant American ever. Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. As an ordained Presbyterian minister, and a man of tremendous faith, Mister Rogers preached tolerance first.

Whenever he was asked to castigate non-Christians or gays for their differing beliefs, he would instead face them and say, with sincerity, "God loves you just the way you are." Often this provoked ire from fundamentalists.

12. He was a perfectionist, and disliked ad libbing. He felt he owed it to children to make sure every word on his show was thought out.

At one point I was tempted to throw in the line "... and another reason to hate fundamentalists" as a pointed joke. But sincerely, I realized that Mr. Rogers would have viewed that as a failure on both our parts, that I would take his value of tolerance and soooo incorrectly misapropriate it. And I feel like if I ever did something to make him feel like he didn't do a good enough job being a good person, then well, that's pretty much the ultimate failure on my part.

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