I THINK FRED WOULD HAVE LIKED THE MOVIE
The film was framed as an Episode of the Mr. Rogers’ show ~ a brilliant idea. There is a journalist who is writing a feature about Fred for Esquire. He’s also dealing with anger issues directed at his father ~ and that’s what the theme of this episode is really about: men’s anger work. This is so very badly needed in today’s world as we struggle to find our Sacred Masculine.
The Journalist starts off as an embittered misanthrope acting out of unresolved anger. With the help of Mr. Rogers and the cast of characters from the Friendly Neighborhood, he learns emotional maturity and emotional intelligence. This movie will hit too close to home for many men, and it will take a lot of courage for some to watch.
The character arch of the journalist is one I’m intimately acquainted with. Looking back on who I was before meeting my Inner-Mr-Rogers, I was half alive but felt mostly dead inside. I was deeply aware of how much the poison of negative emotions was corroding me, but I was truly powerless to do anything about it. Between a busy life and stress at work, the symptoms were getting far worse by the time I was in my 30s. It’s as if many social circumstances are designed around keeping the poison in us flowing.
Mr. Rogers’ superpower is empathy ~ it’s THE missing ingredient that the majority of therapists who keep “professional distance” miss. My experience with therapists is that many tend to intellectualize emotions. (And many have not checked their own baggage). We cannot achieve emotional healing that way.
Empathy is necessary.
Empathy is the magic elixir.
As a society, we have a ton to learn from Mr. Rogers.
How did Mr. Rogers achieve this ….. Boddhisatva state?
In today’s society, designed to keep the poison flowing, that’s “enlightenment.” But enlightenment is also being down to earth, being humble about that. He says in the movie, “Fame is a four-letter word. It’s what you do with it.”
So let’s not idolize him ~ which is why the movie wasn’t about him ~ but rather an episode of his show teaching a very apropos lesson. Instead, let’s ask, “How can we all get in touch with our own Inner-Mr-Rogers?”
So glad Hollywood and Tom Hanks put this out there.
I think the Mr. Rogers’ movie should be required viewing for all future presidents (and fathers).
I think Fred would have liked the movie.