Friday Reflection – A Beautiful Day In The Neighbourhood

OTL Blog Images Website (4)

Having just finished our latest box set binge and wanting a gap before starting another series I found myself flicking through films to watch and stumbled across the 2019 film A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD staring Tom Hanks and I am pleased I did.

The film is based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Iconic American Children TV presenter Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. I had never heard of Fred Rogers but apparently, he was part of all Americans’ childhoods, and whilst I guess this meant I missed out on some nostalgia and personal connection to the character the film and the message still totally held up.

In his beloved long running children’s programme Mister Rogers’ Neighbourhood taught generations how to deal with their emotions, to be kind to others and often tackled difficult and sensitive issues with softly spoken grace, directness and without condescending his young audience. The film follows the cynical and hard-hitting magazine writer Lloyd Vogel who is assigned to write a profile of Fred Rogers – he is sceptical of this outwardly kind, gentle and floorless man and aims to dig underneath the facade he perceives and expose this American hero.

However, as the film unfolds, the opposite happens, as his relationship with Mr Rogers grows and he is treated with genuine kindness, love, and forgiveness he learns to overcome his scepticism and cynicism and to embrace the world instead positively. It is a lovely heartwarming film and teaches us many lessons. Here are three I took away from Mr Rogers:

Lesson 1. If you allow time to slow down, and take a breath – then not only do seemingly complicated issues become more understandable but you also focus more on the important things – relationships with others, truly seeing that the person in front of you is inherently worthy and deserves your time, your listening and your love. And in giving that the reflected reward is enormous.

Lesson 2. Use Your Platform for Good- make a stand and hold yourself to it. Mr Rogers took his role and influence seriously – he recognised the impact he had on others and strived to be authentic not just when the cameras were rolling but all the time, without compromise, not letting the busyness of the world, of TV filming get in the way of his principles and values.

Lesson 3 as the name of is show and the film endorses – Be a Good Neighbour – work together to tackle tough issues in a genuine desire to understand those around us, treating everyone with respect and tolerance. Helping those close to you see the impact they too have on their world and encouraging them to make it a better place.

I thought it was a lovely, heartwarming film with messages that are sadly more relevant as time passes. I hope have a BEAUTIFUL DAY and weekend IN your NEIGHBORHOOD.