Neighborliness: A little more Mister Rogers

The blog this week was written by Dr. Allison Hammond, Executive Director of The Arcadia Institute. Recently, I read the book Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Counterculture Mister Rogers. Fred Rogers was an advocate, though quietly through his children's television show on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), for those who are marginalized, forgotten and sometime mistreated. However, he was of the mindset that we not "Do" for others but that we do "with others" and create community. Here is one quote from the book:

“I knew how tempting it could be to encourage generosity by asking people to help ‘the needy’ or those who are ‘less fortunate.’ ” But Rogers opposed the labels. “That kind of thinking divides people into ‘us’ and ‘them,’ and doesn’t necessarily contribute to a sense of ‘neighborliness.’ "

After reading this book, I wanted to learn more about Fred Rogers and his quiet compassion and passion for social justice. Then I found this quote:

"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."

From The World According to Mister Rogers (Kindle Locations 142-146).

I think we all could us a little more Mister Rogers now.

For more information about The Arcadia Institute visit our website at www.thearcadiainstitute.org or contact Allison Hammond at 269-254-8224 or ahammond@thearcadiainstitute.org.