Life Lessons We All Need From Mister Rogers

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Life Lessons We All Need From Mister Rogers

Hannah Sylvester, Staff Writer

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The new movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” starring Tom Hanks, reminds us amidst our chaotic lives to be kind, patient, and appreciative. The movie is based on an article written by Tom Junod, titled “Can you say… Hero?” for Esquire Magazine. It plays off of this article with the fictional character, Lloyd Vogel, played by Matthew Rhys, a renowned journalist who struggles to forgive his father and deal with his anger. Mister Rogers (real-life Fred Rogers, played by Tom Hanks) and Lloyd Vogel develop a life-changing relationship that makes up the essence of the movie. 

The movie celebrates the highs and lows of life, expressing emotions, learning forgiveness, appreciating individuals, embracing frustrations. 

If you take anything from the movie it should be the following… 

  1. Each one of us is ‘precious’:

Mister Rogers emphasizes the importance of making sure every individual is valued and appreciated. When he talks to people, he looks them in the eye to show that he genuinely cares about what they have to say. Especially in this day and age, people overly obsessed with their own lives, instead of taking the time to listen to people just as important as them–just waiting for their turn to talk, not listening. 

Mister Rogers shows us how much people desire the feeling of being important. We all want to be heard and appreciated as human beings. 

  1. Whatever we feel is okay– it is about how we handle our emotions:

It is okay to be angry, upset, jealous, frustrated, exhausted, or alone. We are all human. We feel. We hurt. We cope. Everyone goes through painful experiences that make us feel every emotion we try to avoid. Many people try to ignore these feelings and push them away, resulting in suppressed emotions arising later in life. 

In the movie, Lloyd has a damaged relationship with his father and never tries to address the issue. He is afraid to face his emotions and deal with the actual issue. With Mister Rogers’s help, he is able to save his relationship with his father and overcome suppressed issues from his childhood. Instead of avoiding the feelings we don’t want to feel, Mister Rogers teaches us that these feelings are okay and that the most important thing is how we handle the way we feel. 

  1. We are all in control of our behavior:

Mister Rogers has a song, “What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel,” where he discusses the control over our emotions and the importance of finding outlets for the anger we experience. He emphasizes the importance of finding ways to deal with the anger and put ourselves in a position of power with our emotions. He gives suggestions such as “punch a bag” or “pound some clay or dough.” No matter what we choose to do, the most important lesson is that we are always in control. 

  1. Taking time for ourselves is important:

Mister Rogers spent his life-giving so much of himself to the people he loved and the people he met who were inspired by him. He was only able to do this because of how much he valued his time for himself. Each day, no matter where he was, he began with a prayer and Bible study, followed by swimming laps in the pool, and taking time to play the piano. Lapping the pool gave him an outlet for his emotions, especially his anger. His time spent for himself allowed him to give more to people. 

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To Mister Rogers, we are all neighbors, humans who care for one another–it is imperative to remember this.