When I was a little boy, Mister Rogers encouraged me to be creative and curious and patient and kind. That encouragement was a wonderful gift to give a sensitive little boy. But of course, it wasn't for me alone; it was a gift he gave to many millions of people over the thirty-five year run of his PBS TV show.
Those of us who watched him every day when we were four or five or six are unquestionably better off for his influence; for his absence, the world is unquestionably poorer.
Had he lived, he would have turned eighty-five years old today. I'll be wearing a red sweater in his honor.