We went today to see the movie “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”. This was a documentary about Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers. It was really good, and I definitely recommend it.
Today is also a Sunday. I grew up going to church every Sunday. I miss church. Not the beliefs or judgments. I miss having a place to go, to sing songs, and to just belong!
Last year I attended a Quinceañera of one of my wife’s students. It was amazing to see the community they all shared. I also noticed a guy walking around the entire time. He was different, but he was there and part of it – and that was ok. I could see myself wanting to be like that, because I want to be a part of things too. But there doesn’t seem to be room for people that are different in mainstream America.
I want that – real community! I’ve thought I had found a community a couple of times. But in the end I was always judged for not being enough like the group. It seems that groups almost always exist for a specific reason, and the only way to belong is to identify. If you do then great – but if you do not then you just aren’t really welcome. That is not what community is about, nor is it being a neighbor!
Why can’t we just be neighbors to each other? Why can’t we just let each other be themselves, like Mr. Rogers encouraged? Won’t you be my neighbor?