Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Published June 2, 2020

In these days of COVID-19 and sheltering in place, perhaps you have found a bit more time to take in a movie at home.

If time allows, I suggest “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which tells the story of Fred Rogers, the beloved children’s TV show host.

A particularly moving scene in the film occurs when Mr. Rogers is sitting at a café table with an emotionally troubled adult.

In his typical calm voice, Mr. Rogers asks the man to pause for a moment with him… to be calm and quiet… and remember all the people in his life who “loved him into being.” He points out that its okay to think not just of biological parents, but of all those who contributed to making him into the person he is today. At that moment, the noisy café scene in the film goes quiet, and for 30 seconds, the film stands still. The audience is brought into the film - the same request is made of them, too.

This exercise is one we can do at home - and may be especially helpful when the world outside begins to feel overwhelming.

Just for a moment, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and remember… the people in your life that loved you into being.

Who did you think of? Who loved you into being? Did you think of parents, grandparents, spouse, or children? Perhaps you imagined neighbors, faith leaders and congregation members, or maybe teachers, mentors, or a childhood friend from years gone by.

If you are reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you or someone close to you attends Midwest Children’s Burn Camp. That means you are part of the MCBC family – a diverse group of campers, volunteers, and leadership.  We use song, dance, arts and crafts, physical activities, confidence boosters, and more to interact with each other. Intentional space is also built in for quiet times of sharing and hearing each other’s joys and concerns. In short, loving each other into being is what we’re all about.

Midwest Children’s Burn Camp is not a place – it’s a family that is stretched across the country. We have an opportunity this summer to prove that we can love each other into being through the wonders of modern technology.

Stay tuned to our website and Facebook page for more information in the coming weeks as we prepare to “Zoom Into the Future” together.

Wishing you peace and all good,

Brian Moeller, Executive Director