Whenever a major crisis hits the world, internet users often share this image of Mr. Rogers as a source of comfort.
— Heather (@Heather_T_1972) May 23, 2017
Mr. Rogers made a name for himself by radiating positivity on his children’s program Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, which premiered 50 years ago this month.
The show ended in 2001, but the gentle spirit of this icon continues to leave its mark. Millions grew up enjoying Mr. Rogers neighborhood, but for one man, the show and its host held a much deeper meaning.
Anthony Breznican, an author, had been going through a depressing time during his college years. He was seeking guidance and inspiration when a familiar voice called to him.
In an empty common room at his university, a television was playing Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Breznican said the experience, “felt like a cool hand on a hot head” and helped him to feel better.
A few days later, Breznican was in an elevator when who should walk in but Mr. Rogers himself! Breznican couldn’t let the opportunity pass him by, and was able to share a moment with Mr. Rogers that he would never forget.
From The Daily Wire:
The doors open, he lets me go out first. I go, but turn around. “Mr. Rogers … I don’t mean to bother you. But I wanted to say thanks.”
He smiles, but this has to happen to him every 10 feet. “Did you grow up as one of my neighbors?” I felt like crying. Yeah. I was.
Opens his arms, lifting his satchel for a hug. “It’s good to see you again neighbor.” I got to hug Mr. Rogers, y’all!
Breznican went on to tell Rogers that he had recently come across his show while he was going through a difficult time.
Mr. Rogers then sat down on a nearby window ledge and motioned for Breznican to sit with him. Rogers then asked, “Do you want to tell me what was upsetting you?”
Breznican told Rogers how he was struggling with the recent death of his grandfather and felt “adrift”. Rogers said that he could relate. His grandfather had meant a lot to him as well, and had shared many life lessons with him.
“Those things never go away,” Rogers said. Breznican thanked his childhood hero, and never forgot their meeting. Now, in the wake of the Manchester attack, Breznican feels compelled to remind people of just how genuine Mr. Rogers was.
“That “helper” quote? That’s authentic. That’s who he was. For real. When Mr. Rogers died in 2003, I sat at my computer with tears in my eyes. But I wasn’t crying over the death of a celebrity.
I was mourning the loss of a neighbor.”
Source: The Daily Wire