Saturday, November 30, 2019

November 30: Everyone Beamed at Him, Fred Rogers, Niceness

"Hi," he [Zaphod Beeblebrox] said again.

Everyone beamed at him, or at least, nearly everyone . . .

Here he is.  Zaphod Beeblebrox being Zaphod Beeblebrox.  Beloved President of the Galaxy.  Basking in the love and adulation of everyone around him, like some kind of intergalactic Fred Rogers, only with two heads.

Greetings on the last day of November, 2019.  As I have said in recent posts, I am pretty anxious to have 2019 in my rear view mirror.  It has not been the best of years.  For many reasons.  I am trying to make this Christmas season extra special to salvage these last days.  Doing some homemade presents.  Getting something extra special for my kids.  Practicing some self care.  Attempting to be kind to everyone.

Last night, I took my family to see the movie It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with Tom Hanks playing Fred Rogers.  The original plan was to take in the 6:40 p.m. showing.  However, when we showed up at 6:30 p.m., we found out that there wasn't a 6:40 p.m. show.  So, I made some lemonade out of lemons, and we headed over to Big Boy for a family dinner.

We sat and ate and talked for almost two hours.  It was a really wonderful time, watching my son and daughter kid around, tease and poke at each other, talk about Christmas and snow storms.  My daughter's boyfriend was in that mix, too.  He's been dating my daughter going on three years now, so he's, basically, another son to us.  We care about him a lot.

After eggs and pastas and a cookies and cream milkshake, we headed back to the theater to see the movie.  Everyone was excited (well, my daughter's boyfriend was not complaining, so I count that as excited for him).  I was tired, but really content to be with the people whom I love most.

The movie was really beautiful, and Tom Hanks was ah-mazing.  Of course.  I grew up watching Fred Rogers, as most kids of my generation did in the United States.  I was afraid that the film was going to try to humanize Mr. Rogers, peel away the cardigan to reveal a tortured soul.  It wasn't that at all.  Instead, it was the story of a journalist, Lloyd,  who was out to dig up some dirt on Fred Rogers, and he ends up being transformed by his interactions with the man (and Daniel Tiger and King Friday the Thirteenth).  It filled me with a compassion and love for people.  All kinds of people.  Good people.  Bad people.  Whole people, broken people.  And it reinforced to me the power of being nice and kind in the face of everything life throws your way.

That's a really good lesson for me right now.  I think the whole world would be a much better place if we were all a little more like Fred Rogers.  I know that the man wasn't a saint.  He had his personal struggles.  He got angry, sad, depressed, frustrated.  He was human.  But he didn't let those emotions rule his life, and he treated everyone--regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation, religious beliefs--as if they really mattered.

Kindness can make a broken soul whole again.

So, if I see you today, at the grocery store or church or at McDonald's, don't be surprised if I tell you how important you are to me.  How glad I am that you are in my life.  How I wish goodness and love to you and everyone who's important to you.

It's a beautiful day in Saint Marty's neighborhood.

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