Mr. Rogers Neighborhood

It's just that simple.


When I was preschool age, my half-brother, who lived with us at the time, used to come into our home singing the Mr. Roger's theme song.

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.
So let's make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?
Won't you please, won't you please,
Please won't you be my neighbor?

I watched Mr. Rogers daily, a childhood ritual that felt comforting, familiar and grounding. My favorite was when he would spend time in The Land of Make Believe.

mr rogers2

So it was a no brainer when a cycling friend recommended this documentary to me, Won't You Be My Neighbor. 

It was a small pleasure to find out this documentary is actually in the 700's section of the library.

One evening this Summer, I popped myself some popcorn and stretched out on a yoga mat in our garage, where we have a spare TV and a dvd player, to partake in this blast from my past.

I was so touched by this film. There were actually moments where I felt so raw watching it because of how pure and innocent Mr. Roger's and his language is. He is so entirely vulnerable that it feels almost embarrassing to watch at times, and yet I connect deeply and feel eternally grateful for his brutally honest truth, namely about emotions, and without any need for fluff or entertainment or pizazz. He is so damn creative, but the creativity is used to cut through the small talk to get right through to the truth of things, rather than to wow children or overstimulate them with a fancy or ridiculous notion of what it means to connect.

The fact that he could use TV in this way, to connect on a heart level, when it was such a new medium, makes me confident that we can us our technologies (social media and more) today in powerful beneficial connective ways.

He makes me feel less embarrassed to feel and to express those feelings as a point of connectivity. To push pass the awkwardness of that to get to the richness of relationship. And he makes me inspired and excited that I get to work in a field that interacts with children, who do know how to be so brutally honest and who challenge me to return to and embrace my feelings for what they are rather than run from them. I am so excited that his movie came into my life at the perfect time and highly recommend watching it. (All the more excited for the Tom Hanks Mr. Rogers movie that is due out in the Fall.)

This is a section of a page from my art journal where I was processing the wonder of my full spectrum of emotions and what they can teach me.

Mr. Rogers represent a reminder that I can return to simplicity. And I need this in my life.

Mr ROgers

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