Meaningful Expression of Care

Posted: February 26th, 2011 | No Comments »

L’Enfant Terrible of the Month: Fred M. Rodgers; educator, minister, songwriter and television host. Recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US. He won a Peabody Award as well as several Emmys. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and one of his sweaters is in the Smithsonian.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood began airing in 1968 and ran for 895 episodes. The year after it’s first broadcast, Fred M. Rogers appeared before the United States Senate Subcommittee on Communications. He was there to try to dissuade the Senate from significantly cutting the funding for PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. (Hmmm, sounds familiar…) During his testimony he read the lyrics to one of the songs he wrote called “What Do You Do With the Mad That You Feel.” What was the response? The chairman of the subcommittee, who was at first awkward and stand-offish, casually waived his hand and exclaimed “I think it’s wonderful. I think it’s wonderful. Looks like you just earned the twenty million dollars.”

What do you do with the mad that you feel
When you feel so mad you could bite?
When the whole wide world seems oh, so wrong…
And nothing you do seems very right?

What do you do? Do you punch a bag?
Do you pound some clay or some dough?
Do you round up friends for a game of tag?
Or see how fast you go?

It’s great to be able to stop
When you’ve planned a thing that’s wrong,
And be able to do something else instead
And think this song:

I can stop when I want to
Can stop when I wish.
I can stop, stop, stop any time.
And what a good feeling to feel like this
And know that the feeling is really mine.
Know that there’s something deep inside
That helps us become what we can.
For a girl can be someday a lady
And a boy can be someday a man.

What Do You Do with the Mad that You Feel?
By Fred M. Rogers
© 1968

Leave a Reply