Won’t You Be My Neighbor? ~ Amy Taylor

Via Amy Taylor
on Feb 28, 2013
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Can we remember that our intention can be not only to inform and entertain but also to help, to heal a hurting world?

Romper Room’s Miss Carol saw me in her Magic Mirror.

Captain Kangaroo made me giggle.

But Mr. Rogers was my neighbor.

Fred Rogers realized the potential of television as a form of ministry. Not to convert kids and parents to a particular religion or brand of sugary cereal, but rather to reach out and connect and let us know that he cared and wanted us to be happy and well.

I knew Mr. Rogers cared about me and the way I felt as child. Didn’t you? What television show today makes you feel recognized and cared for?

Unbelievably, Fred Rogers has been gone 10 years now, passing on February 27th, 2003. My twin sons had just turned four and I remember feeling sad that they would grow up in a world without him.

Fortunately, PBS ran reruns so they got to experience the warmth, curiosity and friendship of the man who understood me in a way my father couldn’t, or wouldn’t, a man who knew that a neighbor wasn’t just the person next door zoned out in front of their TV, but anyone struggling to understand life and to remember to feel those good feelings.

Can TV ever go back there? Can we let go of the need to sell and move at the pace of psychosis?

Can we remember that our intention can be not only to inform and entertain but also to help, to heal a hurting world?

I hope so.

In December, after the massacre in Newtown, a Mr. Rogers quote went viral. Here it is again, in his honor and memory, in the memory of honor or all that is righteous.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”

Thank you for your words and wisdom, Mr. Rogers.


Your Neighbor


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Ed: Brianna Bemel


About Amy Taylor

Amy Taylor writes about parenting, yoga and other journeys for jconline.com, GaiamTV, elephant journal and others. Find her biweekly columns here. She completed 200-hour YTT at CITYOGA in Indianapolis in 2008 and teaches classes for all ages at  Community Yoga. When she's not writing or practicing yoga, Amy loves to read, research and have adventures with her husband and twin sons. Follow her on Twitter.


6 Responses to “Won’t You Be My Neighbor? ~ Amy Taylor”

  1. […] Won’t You Be My Neighbor? ~ Amy Taylor (elephantjournal.com) […]

  2. Linda V. Lewis says:

    What is most compelling about Mr. Rogers was his willingness to be ordinary, to be just a genuine human being. TV today is dominated by freak crimes, intrigue, solving murders, hospital dramas, speed and commercialization. It is indeed important to reflect on the ordinary, on the friendliness of a bus driver and a neighborhood dog, to appreciate the greater goodness that is the reality of human experience. It is important that children growing up in North America feel that reality so that they are not timid or scared to live in their neighborhoods. We are more blessed than cursed, contrary to what a child might believe raised on TV.

  3. Carolyn Riker says:

    I remember Romper Room, Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Greene Jeans…Can't say I really liked Mr. Rogers though. He was real and all but I got all wigged out by his soft voice and slow movements. Plus he asked questions like he was in the same room! Just sayin' my thoughts…not right or wrong…guess it triggered something. Still a good article with insight…thanks for your words!

  4. Amy says:

    That's so interesting, Carolyn! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Amy says:

    Indeed. Thanks for your insightful comment!

  6. […] Won’t You Be My Neighbor? ~ Amy Taylor (elephantjournal.com) […]