Keeping up on current events by reading, watching, or listening to the news is not great for my stress level.
Sexual assault, tears, anger, gaslighting, tragedy, demeaning words, belligerence, desperate grabs for power, earthquakes, tsunamis, fighting, war … it’s all not only demoralizing, but also anxiety building and exhausting.
This weekend I reached a “I just can’t watch it anymore” place.
And I turned to the sage wisdom of someone who has been a part of my life since my earliest memories, offering a little bit of calm, kindness, and peace in the storm.
Thank you, Mister Rogers.
I curled up in a chair and watched “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” the recent documentary on the legacy of Fred Rogers.
From the website for the documentary:
“Though he may be best known today as a soft-spoken, cardigan-wearing children’s television host, in reality, Fred Rogers’ career represents a sustained attempt to present a coherent, beneficent view about how we should best speak to children about important matters and how television could be used as a positive force in our society.”
In experiencing this beautiful film, I found my entire system softening and feeling more peaceful. I was transported back to the my childhood and the feeling of inclusion, importance, goodness, and joy that I felt whenever I visited the neighborhood.
It was healing.
Near the end of the documentary, Mister Rogers talked about the concept of “Tikkun Olam,” which communicates a sense of repair for all creation. He encouraged whoever was listening after the events of 9/11 to practice Tikkun Olam — to be repairers of creation.
Some days I just barely get by. Some days I simply try not to make things worse.
Thank you, Mister Rogers, for reminding me of the days that are better – and that we can all in some way practice Tikkun Olam.
Rev. Kirk Moore (he, him, his)
Kirk Moore (he, him, his) is a guitarist, vocalist, and a certified music practitioner, (CMP). He’s also the pastor of St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, IL and a member of the executive board of the UCC Mental health Network. Find out more about therapeutic music here.