A Thanksgiving Challenge Inspired By Mr. Rogers

Episode 72 is another of my solo Thanksgiving episodes. This one is very unique and heavily inspired by my having just seen the new movie focusing on the life of Mr. Rogers starring Tom Hanks titled “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”.  

It was my birthday the night that I recorded this episode actually: Monday, November 25th. When my wife asked me the week before my birthday how I wanted to celebrate, I told her that beyond anything else, I wanted to go and see this new Mr. Rogers movie with her.  

Mr. Rogers was an enormous part of my childhood and immensely meaningful and inspirational to me. I have always maintained a very special place in my heart for Mr. Rogers, and I am all for and all about the continued spotlight on the man and his legacy.  

In this episode, I focused on two of the things that really seemed to be two of the biggest themes for my year: 1) opening up about my suicide attempt 25 years ago, and 2) re-acquainting myself with the life and the work of Mr. Rogers and the epiphany of how much so many of his theories and practices align with what I try to do with my life.  

During the course of this episode, I was talking about one of my personal pet peeves of the “I’m not going to smile at you but I will press my lips together instead and that is the ‘smile’ you’ll get…” that I think a lot of us do, myself absolutely included. That evolved into my challenging myself (and any others of you) to make a point every single day for the rest of this year to give a big, genuine smile to 5 people I don’t know during the course of each day.  

Maybe we can start some kind of chain of humankindness and love to others just by starting off with those smiles. Who’s with me?!  

I am not sure if I need to say this after what you may have already read here, and after you listen to this actual episode… but I can not encourage you enough to go see “A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood”. Also: go see it in the theater. I would love for Hollywood to see success from this film and for that to possibly greenlight some similar projects that may just be good movies that help people, while entertaining.  

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