My Neighbor – Mr Rogers

(c)2018 Focus Films

Recently my wife and I had the opportunity to view “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?“, the new documentary on the life of Mr. Rogers at the Tull Family Theater.

This is one of those few and rare documentaries that has the capability to alter how you live out the rest of your life … not because of the film maker, script writer, or directory – but simply because of how the man the documentary is about lived his life.

To set one thing straight up front … the rumor that Mr. Rogers created all of the Millennials in the world because of the “You Are Special” mantra, you need to watch the film or watch the last college commencement he gave … that’s not what “You Are Special” was even remotely about.

To those who hold on hard-core to what society tells them is right, or fears becoming friends with someone who might be slightly off-kilter from their beliefs, or fears talking with someone who is not 100% perfect – skip this film, because you will change and have these things happen to you after watching it.

Mr. Rogers was a Christian …. an ordained minister. He was probably one of the very few people who acted as a Christian should act: show God’s love, grace, and understanding. He didn’t have to tell anyone that’s what he was doing – ever.  They just knew. The children just knew. That’s how you knew he was real.

He was the kid that was made fun of when he was little.

He was the kid that was sick much of the time when he was little.

He became the man who raised all of us and showed use that being a man wasn’t a stereotype.

He promoted equality better than anyone else (without pushing other’s rights aside to do so) … and stood for nothing less.

He taught us how to have self-worth without destructive pride intervening.

He promoted humanity without eliminating “human”.

By example, he showed that hate was not an option.

By the end of the documentary you will realize three things:

  1. Society stopped listening to Mr. Rogers example of “Love thy neighbor, love thyself”,
  2. and started listening to society’s “Hate thy neighbor, hate thyself”
  3. We are all the same -“human”. That’s simply what he was teaching us.

Kudos to Mr Rogers …..

-SWB

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