“I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you. I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you….” (from Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Opening theme)
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). This verse is quoted in the New Testament in Matthew 5:43 and 19:19; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14 and James 2:8.
Mr. Fred Rogers, who left us in 2003, is back in the news these days. Books and articles, television specials and a couple of movies remind us just how special this good man was.
Anyone who reads Mr. Rogers’ words or dwells on his life for even a few minutes comes away thinking more about being a good neighbor.
My wife and I saw the movie “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Thursday of this week. There were perhaps 25 or 30 others in the theater, most of them seniors. This was not the Tom Hanks movie on Mr. Rogers which I had expected, but is more of a documentary or biopic, I think they call it. The Hanks movie will be out soon, we’re told, and is not so much a biography as a story about Rogers’ interview with a magazine writer.
A couple of observations about Mr. Rogers from the movie we just saw. One, the man truly was almost too good to be true. As a result, during his lifetime some had tried to find dirt on him and made accusations against him. All to no avail. He was “all that,” as the saying goes. One of his sons said, “I was raised by the second Christ,” with a smile.