Book Report: The Good Neighbor

I was gifted The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers last year for my birthday. After watching the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor? and crying like a baby no less than three times during it, I knew I needed to read this biography of a man who I saw on TV pretty much every day of my childhood.

I cried like a baby no less than five or ten times reading the book.

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While the book covers his life from start to finish, there are so many intricate details one might never have known about this mild-mannered, kindhearted man. He was an ordained minister. He also had a degree in music. He wrote all the songs on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. He weighed 143 pounds every day of his adult life. The number 143 was special to him because it was the number order of the letters in the sentence, “I love you.”

Don’t think the author was biased to this man who was a friend to children across ours and many other countries. He did not sugar coat or disguise who Fred Rogers was in any way. In the book, we see his flaws, but greater was his will to do good for others, specifically children, than his will to give in to personal weaknesses.

Interestingly enough, Mr. Rogers was adamantly against having a biography about his life written because he did not want so much attention drawn to himself. I wish I could tell him how positively his life story has impacted me. To let him know that reading about his life and the authentic passion he had for emphasizing to children that they were special and loved, has reminded me of the very same thing.

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If you can, read the book. I hope it will impact you to do good, to help others, and to make kindness your greatest focus in life.

I Like You as You Are
By: Fred Rogers
I like you as you are
Exactly and precisely
I think you turned out nicely
And I like you as you are

I like you as you are
Without a doubt or question
Or even a suggestion
Cause I like you as you are

I like your disposition
Your facial composition
And with your kind permission
I’ll shout it to a star

I like you as you are
I wouldn’t want to change you
Or even rearrange you
Not by far

I like you
I-L-I-K-E-Y-O-U
I like you, yes I do
I like you, Y-O-U
I like you, like you as you are

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