Yesterday, I went to watch the movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.” I had been anticipating it all year because I grew up watching Mr. Rogers. Surprisingly, it was not a movie for children but rather a peer full inspiration for adults about forgiveness and using our words to build others up.
The story was actually about the magazine reporter assigned to interview Fred Rogers and it changed his life after meeting him.
Journalists often have the image of getting the facts without being emotionally involved. As the reporter went to interview Mr. Rogers, he didn’t know the tables would be turned and he would be the one answering questions and ultimately having to make a choice to forgive his own father and make peace.
Mr. Rogers was more like a therapist who looked into the soul of every person he met to find the heart needing healing. He was soft-spoken and could see through the tough exterior. He prayed for people by name each night. He loved his wife and children. He loved his community and viewers. He lived the example I wish I could follow.
The story begins at a family wedding where the reporter got into a fight with his father who had a history of alcohol abuse. He had never forgiven his father for leaving the family and his wife who died.
The interview ended up becoming an observation of a sincere soul who touched lives everywhere ho went. The reporter never got a typical sit down question and answer session. He had to follow Mr. Rogers around because he was so busy and never gave a straight answer but was the one who asked the questions.
Mr. Rogers knew what it was like to be teased as a child because of being chubby. He remembered crying and wanting to be accepted. As an adult, he used his talents to help children learn to express their emotions in a healthy way.
Even though I have good intentions most of the time, I know am guilty of not speaking kindly of some individuals I am frustrated with. I forget the saying, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
I remember times I felt hurt by others’ words yet forget those times when I am not speaking kindly of another. We all need reminders once in a while to set us back on track. This movie was one of those good reminders.