Over Thanksgiving break I saw A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. It is based on a true story about a writer for Esquire who was assigned to do a piece on America’s hero, Mr. Rogers. The writer was cynical and disliked because of the negative way he wrote about people. He was assigned to write about Mr. Rogers because every other hero being featured in the magazine refused to be interviewed by him. Mr. Rogers ended up being the perfect subject for this writer because there was genuinely nothing bad to be said about him. He was overly kind and generous but his way of living still felt human and attainable. He recognized the bad qualities that he had but emphasized that he works on controlling those qualities and teaches that to kids and adults.
I wouldn’t say that there is a living hero in this county right now. Mr. Rogers was someone that anyone of any age, race, gender, etc. could connect with and look up to. He wanted to make a difference in the world not because of the ways it would benefit him but because he was just genuinely motivated to help make people better people. I think that our society is much more selfish now and people, especially celebrities, do things in order to gain more notoriety so their positive actions to do not always seem genuinely motivated. There seems to be such a competition to be the most popular and well-known, but the means to those ends do not necessarily matter.