Some Neighborhood Kindness

person rubbing cat's ears

Earlier this week, I had a coupon for a free movie at the Redbox kiosk. With everything that’s pulling my emotions this way and that so far in 2021, I wanted to just chill and watch something positive. Perusing the DVD selections, I picked out Tom Hanks’ “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” the 2019 movie about TV host Mr. Rogers.

Although I’ve seen clips of his show (and parodies) over the years, I didn’t grow up watching it — I was already in school by that time. But I was curious to learn more about it and why he did, what he did.

They say that Fred Rogers wasn’t easy to interview… because he was so much more interested in asking questions of his interviewer, learning about them, and making friends with them instead of talking about himself. And that is one of the ways Hanks portrayed him in the film. (I was a little weirded out by the puppets, but that’s just me. Similar to the way some folks are weirded out by clowns? I was thinking about psychiatrist Richard Dreyfuss and his patient Bill Murray in “What About Bob.”)

I wish that we all had someone who treated us with exceptional kindness… as children and as adults. Mr. Rogers certainly had a wonderful gift for expressing his love and kindness toward kids via his television show, and toward the adults he met along the way.

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

Fred Rogers

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