Many of you may remember previously when I’ve talked about Benjamin Wagner. He’s been working for some time now on a remarkable looking film titled, ” Mister Rogers & Me. “ It is a deep and simple documentary about Fred Rogers told from the perspective of Benjamin, with the help of quite a few others who knew him as well. In the trailer alone, you see folks like Linda Ellerbee and Tim Russert along with Susan Stamberg and Marc Brown sharing their thoughts on the impact Fred Rogers had on the millions of people who either watched on him on television or those like Benjamin, who had a chance to actually sit down and talk with him before he died.
I’ve written about Benjamin and his story before, and how a conversation he had with a man who really was his neighbor put him on the path towards a life that celebrates the deep and simple in a world that is too often focused on what is shallow and complex.
Benjamin’s desire to share the message of Fred Rogers and the combined efforts of both he and his brother Christofer, have led them to the place where they are now as ” Mister Rogers & Me ” is set to premiere at the Nantucket Film Festival in June along with the films of some already well known actors and directors.
I have watched the progression of this dream of his from the sidelines for the last few years and the story has had a lasting impact on me. Sometimes, I catch myself having conversations with strangers, like a cab driver on the way to the airport about living a life more focused on what is deep and simple. I can’t tell you the number of times it has come up or the places I shared it.
In the quote below, Fred Rogers talked about leaving something of yourself behind in every meeting we have with the people we meet. Sharing ” Mister Rogers & Me “ along with the deep and simple message is what I’m leaving behind today. While I can’t attend the premiere due to living in the UK, I can share the message, and you can too. If you feel inclined, would you forward this link or perhaps create a post of your own to share with the folks who matter in your life. It’s a sweet story with a powerful message and it might be just the very thing they need today.
If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
~ Fred Rogers
I want to thank Benjamin for staying with this project and investing so much of himself into such a lasting legacy. Fred Rogers would be modest about being the center of the story, but he would be so proud of you and he would likely say it in his gentle voice, ” I am so proud of you, Benjamin.”
I like to add my own ” Well done, Benjamin,” and say that in this big global world, I’m so glad you and I are neighbors.