The Popcorn Stand: We need a better neighborhood

I miss Mister Rogers and I don’t think it’s just a coincidence in our society today, which can honestly become quite toxic at times, this kinder, gentler man, if you will is back in the news.

Rogers died in 2003 but his legacy lives on and we’re making sure his legacy lives on. Or at least he’s making a comeback. The U.S. Postal Service will introduce stamps commemorating Mr. Rogers next month and the next time I need to buy stamps I’ll make sure to ask for them.

A documentary about his PBS show in which several generations watched — including myself — will be released in June. And Tom Hanks will portray him in an upcoming movie. Yes in this “world is going to hell” society, Rogers resonates more than ever because we realize we need his voice more than ever.

If Rogers were alive today and he was still doing his show, he probably start it by singing “we need a beautiful neighborhood, we need more beautiful neighbors...”

One of my favorite quotes comes from John Wooden: “Be quick but don’t be in a hurry.” When I’m working on deadline I remember that quote.

But in the hurry up and wait world of journalism I also take Rogers advice to slow down and be patient when that source I desperately need to get back to me doesn’t return my call.

Rogers also stressed everyone is a neighbor, a biblical principal. Wherever you are, whoever is next to you at the time is your neighbor.

I also loved it when Rogers said when things go bad, “Look for the helpers. You always find people who are helping.”

The world needs more people like Mr. Rogers. It would definitely be a better neighborhood.

— Charles Whisnand


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