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Making goodness attractive again

“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

MrRogersI thought about titling this blog post, “Because you Watched,” a common phrase on Netflix that leads viewers to movies and series that are similar to what they’ve watched before and presumably something they’d enjoy.

Because you follow this blog and presumably resonate to my abiding belief in the importance of love, freely and unconditionally given, I want to recommend the movie I saw over the weekend. It’s called “Won’t you be my Neighbor” and it’s about Fred Rogers and his deceptively simple show that championed goodness, human dignity and kindness to all.

Using songs, puppets and neighborhood guests, Mr. Rogers and his iconic neighborhood attempted to value children and their feelings and to calm the waters in the wake of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, the Challenger disaster and even 9/11.

The suspense of the movie, rather than relying on negative twists and battles to overcome, turns around this question: “What nice thing will this uncommonly kind man do next?”

His quiet valorization of kindness and gentleness feels wildly countercultural.

Even when he was attacked by right-wing commentators who derided his belief in the “specialness” of every child (after all, they said, it will turn children into entitled snowflakes), he choose kindness as does the filmmaker of this very special film.

Rather than depict his detractors with anger, the film notes their presence with a bemused sadness. Why be like this?

The film, like my blog, takes for granted that goodness, honoring our basic humanity and compassion are worthy goals. Rather than value shock and disruption, I stand for love, for all, forever.

As Mr. Rogers said during his testimony to Congress on the importance of public television, he summed up his mission like this, “Let’s make goodness attractive.”

That certainly works for me.

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.

24 Responses

  1. I also saw this film over the weekend. It has become one of my favorites. Certainly a message for people to hear today.

  2. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. “Look for the helpers”. I think of this quote every time there’s a tragedy in our world and thanks to Mr. Rodger’s loving reminder, I see them and have hope. His message of love resonates even more today.

  4. I knew they were making the movie but didn’t know it was out. I’ll go see it and maybe take my daughter if possible. We need more like him and fewer of those that made fun of him. I’m with you on this 100%. More kindness, please.

  5. I was a faithful Mr. Rogers watcher (as well as Sesame Street), as a child – and maybe beyond! Such a good man. Such a good soul. Such a good message. Looking forward to the feel-good movie of the decade!

    1. ME TOO! Watched him every chance I had,especially when my kids were little. Even today we say:”Your’e right, as usual, king Friday” to each other as an encouragement.

  6. Been “in love” with Fred since before my oldest (38 years young) was born. Mister Rogers truly made me a “better neighbor,” educator and member of the human race. (Might have been a better way to share about Fred’s supporting the “specialness” of each child, as opposed to speaking of the “right-wing commentators” and “snowflakes” reference – Fred was all about forgiveness and shedding positive light.)

    We all can use as much as kindness as we can give, today!

  7. You are a rare and cherished bright light unto the world, Pam. You are brave in your work. It inspires me and I want to thank you for making the effort. I know how hard it is to just make the effort some days and not throw in the towel. So thank you!


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  8. Mr. Rogers is one of those amazing people that have walked this Earth………since I was a kid he was someone who made me feel special……just like every other person who also watched him on TV.

  9. My favourite quote from ACIM which saves my sanity is Love is all that is real. All else is an illusion. My t-shirt qoute “Thank-you for raising kind children.”
    Marianne Funny

  10. Thank you Pam. I love your books and have them on audible as they inspire me to look for the magic all around us. Kindness does always matter. Big hugs!

  11. Raised my children with “Mr. Rogers”.
    Now it’s “Daniel Tigers Neighborhood” with my granddaughters which follows in Mr. Rogers footsteps but in cartoon form. So glad they put out this movie now for people with ears to hear 💖

  12. Just came from the movie/documentary and it filled my heart and some tears along the way. I felt like Fred and I were kindred spirits. I’m sure others can relate😏I wish I had known him personally.
    I just want to say to Pam and all others here Thank you for trying in your own way to create heaven on earth. 💖

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