Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

Three Men Named “Fred”

Maybe it’s been over a year now since I first started reading Fred Clark over at the patheos blog. Fred has both challenged and informed my thinking with his thoughtful words. His faith appears real and practical to him. His insight is illuminating. His writing always gives me a moment’s pause for reflection. I value Fred Clark‘s contribution to my life. (Hat tip to my friend Dan who turned me on to Fred’s writing.)

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)Fred Clark recently wrote a post reflecting on Fred and the “anti-Fred.” Here is a direct quotation:

By word and by example, Mister Rogers taught us all many things. Including this:

‘For me, as for all children, the world could have come to seem a scary place to live. But I felt secure with my parents, and they let me know that we were safely together whenever I showed concern about accounts of alarming events in the world.

There was something else my mother did that I’ve always remembered: “Always look for the helpers,” she’d tell me. “There’s always someone who is trying to help.” I did, and I came to see that the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.

… To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.'”

Source: The Anti-Fred is dead. Look for the helpers by Fred Clark

Fred Clark is quoting Fred Rogers; we all know Fred Rogers as Mr. Rogers (“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…”). Fred Clark draws our attention to the fact that Fred Phelps, he calls him the anti-Fred, died on the day of Fred Rogers’ birthday, the first day of Spring. God does have a sense of humor!

I do not know of a single man who was any kinder than Mr. Rogers. Yes, the anti-Fred was the exact opposite of that.

Thank you Fred Clark for reminding me of this remarkable gift to humanity, Mr. Fred Rogers. Your writings over the past few days have been a kindness to his legacy and a salve to heal some of the hate of the anti-Fred–what a good way to describe him.

I have placed Mr. Rogers’ on my recurring birthday calendar to remind me every year to celebrate his kindness and to look for the helpers (like Fred Clark) in this world, for they are many.