Tag Archives: Fred Rogers

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Where Are You When We Need You?

Remember Mister Rogers? Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on public television? Sometimes we laughed a bit at this gentle character who so quietly entered our homes and talked about feelings and helped children deal with fear and anger.

“Look for the helpers. Look for the people who are helping” is a quote of his repeated often in recent times after murderous attacks on innocent people.

In 1969, Fred Rogers appeared before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications when President Nixon wanted to decrease funding for public television. Listen to his defense of continued funding so children might have access to quality programming.

How we need his calming, sure presence in these days of anger and incivility. Even the adults need help with proper expression of emotions.

Look For The Helpers


In this era, one person with grievances, real or perceived, can wreck the lives of countless others.

But one person can help, comfort, and bring goodness, too, even out of tragedy.

The words of Fred Rogers, of the old TV children’s program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” are being tweeted and retweeted thousands of times following the tragedy in Boston. You may have read them, but they bear repeating:

“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.’”

The words are from a book Fred Rogers wrote that was published a year before he died, intended to help parents guide their children through tragedy.

Indeed, the helpers in this tragedy, from emergency responders to hospital personnel to ordinary people who offered aid, far outnumber the perpetrators of this evil. It will take much good to overcome the evil that afflicted the men, women, and children killed, injured, and grieved by the incident in Boston, but the helpers are there.

Fred Rogers died in 2003. But his words outlive him, as good often does.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.” (John 1:5, NRSV)