Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

We saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” this week, a documentary about Fred Rogers and his popular TV show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

This motion picture, currently in general release, is a “must see” for parents and grandparents of young children.

Fred Rogers was an accomplished musician, singer/songwriter, storyteller, and Presbyterian minister with a profound understanding of young minds.

Astounded by his impact and radical philosophies, we conducted more library research.

The also popular Sesame Street, which premiered several years after Rogers’ show debuted, competed with “Neighborhood” for viewers. Years later when both shows’ initial “fans” got older, researchers characterized the 2 audiences for specific personality traits to learn the effect of the programs.

One of the traits found in Mr. Rogers’ fans was “patience”—the ability to delay gratification.

Researchers observed, likely because of his slow speaking rhythm and comfort with silence, Rogers viewers were measurably more patient than the viewers of Sesame Street.

In other words, Mr. Rogers’ audience learned to delay gratification, a trait found almost universally among those with high levels of Emotional Intelligence. And “EQ” often translates into satisfaction with one’s self and career success.

It’s an important film with a loving message.