Sam and I went to the movie on Mr. Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor, the week before he left with the Boy Scouts to California to hike Sequoia. (He’s still there.)

Tears well up behind my eyes when it comes to mind. I know the lure of the TV show – set in a controlled studio – everything (in his show, anyway) calm, predictable, ordered and trustful.

One movie moment I remember vividly was after Fred Rogers had stopped recording new shows. The station began broadcasting reruns. Apparently Superhero shows started airing and children were jumping out windows and off buildings, believing with a cape they could fly. Mister Rogers was angry. He spoke in a stern voice and admonished adults for making irresponsible shows for children. To remedy the situation he taped a special one-week seminar of shows on special subjects debunking the myth of Superheroes as only he can (could) do.

And I cringe when I think of our son (now out in the open air and free neutrality of a panoramic outdoor space) sitting in front of our TV screen at home (we do limit his time), playing Fortnight with friends.Tears well up behind my eyes. Of course it’s not useful to try, or even want to try, to work life to fit a Mister Rogers TV studio set – but I believe it is utterly useful to inject his foundational groundings into our personal and national discourse that we may continue to replenish our quest toward responsibility living.