By Julie Thompson
“It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine? Could you be mine?” Anytime I hear these song lyrics, a smile comes across my face and I immediately picture Fred Rogers putting on a red sweater and changing into his sneakers. And for some reason, I always feel a sense of peace and comfort.
I grew up watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of an impact this show would have on me…or the rest of the world. For 31 seasons, Fred Rogers invited us into his neighborhood.
He told us we are special and that our lives are valuable.
He gave us permission to name our feelings, to express ourselves, and to talk about things that were hard.
He taught us the power of listening.
He encouraged us to help others.
He showed us how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Instead of judging our neighbors, Mister Rogers taught us to simply love them.
And that is why so many of us loved spending time in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Fred Rogers passed away in 2003, but thanks to films such as Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, he continues to inspire others.
Each day, we have the chance to take what we learned from Mister Rogers into our own neighborhoods and communities.
We have the chance to make others feel cared for, supported, and loved.
Let’s be the type of neighbor that will cause others to say, “I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you.”