• carolccmiller

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Won't You Be My Neighbor

“Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one KIND word to another person.” ~ Mr. Rogers

I recently saw the documentary called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” about Mr. Rogers. I wanted to slow down time and absorb every image and every word in the movie. I wanted to memorize it and embody it.

Now, I remember Mr. Rogers as a kid, but I don’t remember much. I didn’t remember character names or even the premise. I just remembered that it was on PBS and I believe I watched it from time to time. It’s been more as an adult, especially as I’ve become acutely aware of how kindness is powerful.  Until I watched this documentary, I knew he was a very kind man. What I didn’t know was HOW kind he was and how he stood diligent in his belief of being kind to everyone. I didn’t realize that his shows dealt with tough topics in a very kind and compassionate way. He spoke to young children about death, divorce, racism, and violence in a way they could be reached. He didn’t pretend conflict and tragedy didn’t exist. Instead, he discussed hard topics with kindness and compassion.

Each of us can be more like Mr Rogers. Are you willing to step deeper into the truth of you as a kind, compassionate, and loving person? If you are going through a hard time, that may seem impossible, but I promise you, with practice, with gentleness for yourself and others, and with conviction, you will find it easier and easier. You will discover that your thoughts become kinder, what you say will be gentler, and your actions will be more loving. When we feel loved, we act from LOVE.

Moving forward, I invite you to be more like Mr. Rogers by:

Liking people just as they are. When you like people as they are, not as who you want them to be, or the potential you see in them, you give them permission to just be.

Asking yourself, what is the kind thing to say or do in this situation. Kindness doesn’t mean being a doormat and letting unkind behavior go unchecked. It does mean facing the situation with compassion and not adding more fuel to the unkind fire.

Be a helper rather than a hurter. Whenever you can, wherever you can, help someone else in need. It doesn’t need to be a huge effort. It can be as simple (yet powerful) as a shared smile, a kind word, or an offered hug.

Being kind to yourself! We are often our own worst enemies. Treat yourself as if you were your own best friend. When you catch yourself thinking or saying unkind things, say ‘I am sorry, I LOVE you.’ It’s so easy to continue the blame/shame cycle by thinking you were ‘bad’ for saying unkind things to yourself. Shift it back to kindness each time.

Mostly, my wish for you is to go through life in a neighborly fashion. That you are helpful, friendly, and kind. And that what you put out into the world comes back to you tenfold.

Until next time, I like you just the way you are.


I choose to be kind to myself and others.

Words to LOVE by:

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” ~ Fred Rogers

“People have said, ‘Don’t Cry’ to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, ‘I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.’ I’d rather have them say, ‘Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.” ~ Fred Rogers

“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.” ~ Fred Rogers

“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” ~ Mr. Rogers

“Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one KIND word to another person.” ~ Mr. Rogers

Sounds for the Soul:

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