It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Won’t you be my neighbor?
The late, great Fred Rogers treated everyone like a neighbor. When Mister Rogers extended the invitation, “Won’t you be my neighbor?” he was genuinely humanizing each of us and modeling the behavior of a loving neighbor.
Today is the 143rd day of the year. The number 143 was Mister Rogers’ favorite number because it symbolizes “I love you”. One letter in “I.” Four letters in “love.” Three letters in “you.”
In the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we celebrate 143 Day as a call to live up to the values Mister Rogers personified. Thank you to Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski for proposing we make 143 Day a national holiday in this Time article. I love that idea and think we should petition the Federal government to do it. We all could benefit from a little Mister Rogers in our lives.
Mister Rogers lived his life free from offense and therefore was freed to love others. He was an ordained minister and honored what scripture taught him, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” He saw past the brokenness to the hearts of those around him. He chose to love the core of the person rather than be intimidated by symptoms of their pain or sin. He saw into people’s hearts and ministered to their hurt. We must follow his example.
This is what Mister Rogers knew about us humans and our tongues:
- A harsh tongue reveals an angry heart.
- A negative tongue reveals a fearful heart.
- A boastful tongue reveals an insecure heart.
- An overactive tongue reveals an unsettled heart.
- A judgmental tongue reveals a guilty heart.
- A critical tongue reveals a bitter heart.
May we all renew our minds and transform our tongues to emulate the heart, wisdom, and kindness of Mister Rogers. Happy 143 Day fellow Pennsylvanians. Let’s hope we’ll be honoring this special day across the entire United States someday soon.