Happy Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day

Remember this guy?

A couple days ago I saw this tribute to Mr. Rogers linked in my Facebook feed. I read it. You should too. There were tears. There will be for you too. Why? It’s such a well-written piece, mostly because the subject matter himself is just so inspiring. A snippet:

He didn’t live in a world full of songs and puppets. He brought songs and puppets to a world that was scared and tired and vulnerable. A lot of people of a lot of faiths are waiting for the Messiah, but even if one arrives, how are you going to tell the difference between him and Fred Rogers?

He explained death and divorce and disease to kids so that they’d learn which fears were justified and which they could relinquish. His job wasn’t only to help children grow up, but to remind adults, always, that they had been children once, and that someone, somewhere, had loved them.

And when he died himself, of stomach cancer — which you might recognize as The Cancer Nobody Deserves, But Especially Not Mr. Rogers — he left us all, yes, poorer, but so much richer. He gave a lot of us the tools to be kind to each other. And any praise would give a short measure of the man, so the only worthy testament to who he was is the life he lived, without judgments, without politics, with selflessness and love. He was our neighbor, and he loved us.

Today is Mr. Roger’s birthday and fittingly Won’t You Be My Neighbor Day. I showed old episodes to Lucas, who instantly fell in love; goes to show that wholesome, slow kids’ entertainment will never go out of style.

Well, until later that night when he woke up crying from nightmares about Lady Elaine who used her Boomerang Toomerang Soomerang to cause trouble.  I forgot how scary she was.

Sorry Lucas.

Hug a neighbor today! Or maybe a high five if that’s too awkward.


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