Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

You remember that old Mr. Rogers song, don’t you? (Well, just in case you don’t the lyrics are below.) As a young person, I always thought the song was a little hokey, but now I see a different side to it.


Won't You Be My Neighbor
By Fred M. Rogers © 1967

It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let's make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine? Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?

Won't you please, Won't you please,
Please won't you be my neighbor?

Simple, sweet words. So inviting…literally! It reaches beyond *my* neighborhood or *your* neighborhood. It reaches out to the ends of the earth. It represents not just the immediate areas in which we live. It represents the whole of creation. It’s inclusive, it’s warm, it’s friendly, it’s welcoming.

It seems in today’s world of privacy fences and automatic garage doors, we don’t even know who our neighbors are. And once we get into our houses and turn on our televisions, we watch from afar all our other “neighbors” in our cities and in our world. We watch their lives unfold on a big screen, and we shake our heads at their tragedies. Our mouths say we feel sorry. But our hearts remain distant as we sit comfortably in our air-conditioned houses.

Do you know who your neighbors are? Let me give you a little hint: they aren’t just the people you wave at as you pass their houses each day, or borrow a cup of sugar from.

But they could be:

**The single parent struggling to feed and clothe their children, or pay the electric bill**

**The child who has been trafficked and sold into slavery for sex, labor, or war**

**The pregnant teen mom who has nowhere to turn because her family has abandoned her**

**The orphan in Africa whose parents have died from AIDS, digging through the trash pile for tonight’s dinner**

**The dad down the street who just lost his job – for the second time in a year**

**The woman you see every week at church - on the outside she looks composed and polished, but at home she lives a daily hell of physical, mental and/or emotional abuse.**

Don’t you think that when any of these people get a glimpse into your life, they would like to be your neighbor? To be included in a warm, friendly, safe place?

And “since we’re together” in this world, shouldn’t we try to “make the most” of each beautiful day WITH them?

Isn’t there always something we can each do – even ONE small thing – to extend love to our neighbors?

How about starting here:

“The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him, ‘What are you going through?’”
--Simone Weil

Listen…
     watch…
          learn…
               ask…
                    walk in their shoes.

Then…take action.
Help them.
Love them.
Lift them up.

Then, instead of just a neighborhood, we have a “beautywood”. Please, won’t you be my neighbor?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, may all your wishes come true!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post, great ))

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