Thursday, February 10, 2011

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood, A beautiful day for a neighbor.…

posted by Bill Arnett @ 2:14 PM Permalink

…Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

Y'know, sometimes I get lost within my mind searching for memories of a better time, struggling to break the artificial boundaries imposed by those whom we would call leaders, those whom would restrict our freedoms in the name of fighting wars against terror, drugs, poverty, abortion or whatever else they have set their sights upon that day.

And it strikes me that it is true that most of us have learned all we really need to know by the time we leave kindergarten if not before. It also could be true that many of us never needed kindergarten to learn the basics.

In support of this position I would like to reintroduce you to someone I believe to be one of the great philosophers of my short time on earth, a man whose identity cannot be concealed from most Americans who grew up listening and hanging onto his every word, Mr. Fred Rogers, perhaps one of the kindest and most loving people ever.

So here are just a few quotations, but I urge everyone to seek out more:
"Part of the problem with the word 'disabilities' is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can't feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities."
— Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers)

"When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed."
— Fred Rogers

"Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me. "
— Fred Rogers

"Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life's important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives."
— Fred Rogers

"It's very dramatic when two people come together to work something out. It's easy to take a gun and annihilate your opposition, but what is really exciting to me is to see people with differing views come together and finally respect each other."
— Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers)

"In the external scheme of things, shining moments are as brief as the twinkling of an eye, yet such twinklings are what eternity is made of -- moments when we human beings can say, "I love you," "I'm proud of you," "I forgive you," "I'm grateful for you." That's what eternity is made of: invisible imperishable good stuff."
— Fred Rogers (The World According to Mister Rogers)

[And, of course, his signature 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 beauty wood,
A neighborly day for a beauty.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...

I've 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?"
— Fred Rogers
I do hope many of you will like this walk down memory lane and consider, perhaps for the first time, what a gentle, genuinely nice man was Fred Rogers, whom also happened to be a great philosopher as well. I wish for you all "invisible imperishable good stuff."

Ciao, bella ámi

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At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem." Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."
— Fred Rogers (via The Sailor)

At 12:45 PM, Blogger Bill Arnett said...

Thanks, Sailor. It's amazing to me to reread so much of Fred's writings and find it so difficult to pinpoint any one particular jewel amongst his thoughts as there are just so very many competing for your attention.

I particularly like your choice. As my son and many, many friends of his can tell you I have always told every child that enters my house that they are more than welcome, that if they need help they will get it from me, if they need housing they were welcome to stay, and that if they went away hungry if was their fault and not mine and Mila's. I've fed more kids on a regular basis than you would believe.

Most of them are all grown up now, but they still call me Pops and I'm always happy when they come by to visit.

Aside from my Agent Orange induced cancers I have lived a very good life indeed.


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