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The World Needs Another Mr. Rogers -- Wedges Driven Between Us All

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posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 06:50 PM
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In a very short time (when you take into account the whole of human history), we
seem to have become far too jaded to the ways of the world and we are growing
increasingly distant from our fellow man. It seems that the days of fellowship and loving
thy neighbor are rapidly going the way of the dodo.

Not even a decade ago, I can remember residents of the neighborhoods in my town
getting together and throwing housewarming parties for new members of the community.
Every Saturday morning, you had to make sure you drove slow through EVERY neighborhood in
town so as to avoid the massive number of children playing. Neighbors thought nothing of
knocking on any door in the neighborhood if they were in need of assistance; Be it money,
sugar or a ride to town. When a member of the neighborhood fell on hard times, it was
commonplace for the other members to get together and do everything they could to make
sure the less fortunate family was taken care of. On Halloween night, the children
wandered the streets in packs and laughter, shrieks and the hopes of good candy filled the night. Thanksgiving brought together whole communities to share food, recipes,
best wishes, love and anticipation of the Christmas to come. Christmas itself was a time
of magic for children and adults alike, reflected in the countless lights decorations
that dominated the town.

As I write this, it is Friday night, November 30th. The laughter of children at
play will not wake me early tomorrow morning. When I walk outside, I will not have to
dodge a football or watch for bicycles as I back out of my driveway. I will pass the
local park (full of jungle gyms and toys we would have prayed for as children) and it
will be empty, save for the one single mom and her two children that are there every
Saturday morning. The merry-go-round will be motionless and the seesaws will be in the
same positions that they have been in for months now.

On my way to work, I will see one house decorated for Christmas and that house has a large homemade Snoopy cutout from "Peanuts" lying on top, accompanied by the appropriate lights in the spirit of matching Snoopy's dog house during Christmas editions of the comic strip done so well by Charles M. Schultz. As the month progresses, I doubt there will be more than one or two more homes in my area decorated this year. Seeing as I live in an apartment building, we are not allowed to decorate our homes. Though, I doubt many would if we were allowed.

What has happened in the world? Where have all the children gone? Where are all the Christmas lights that, ten years ago, would have dominated the night?

Reality television shows, credit card debt, Myspace and other meaningless things have taken over our time. Instead of getting together with the neighbor and going fishing or just visiting, we sit at home and watch Survivor and wonder who will be voted off next. Instead of taking the time to greet our new neighbors and get to know them, we get on Myspace, Facebook or some other killer of real world social skills in attempts to "meet new people" and "make friends". A great deal of us look at having 240 "friends" on Myspace as being far more important than 1 REAL friend or neighbor. The "Social Network" has taken the place of the neighborhood.

As I sit here and think about these things, I cannot help but be reminded of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood", which I watched religiously as a child. Naturally, his little opening song pops into my head.

"It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood
A beautiful day for a neighbor
Would you be mine
Could you be mine

It's a neighborly day in this beauty wood
A neighborly day for a beauty
Would you be mine
Could you be mine

I've always wanted to have a neighbor just like you
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you


So, let's make the most of this beautiful day
Since we're together we might as well say
Would you be mine, could you be mine
Won't you be my neighbor
Won't you please, won't you please
Please won't you be my neighbor"

Sure, it's simple, quaint and cheesy as hell by today's standards. But, this little song reminds me of the main problem the world faces today. We have almost completely ceased caring about our neighbor.

Fred Rogers, while I'm sure he had as many skeletons in his closet as any of us (though most say he was very genuine), spent his life preaching about caring for yourself and for your fellow human beings. He tried to teach adults and kids alike that everyday could be a beautiful day so long as we had friends, family and neighbors to share that day with.

If we all lived with this philosophy, would things really be as bad as they seem these days? Would there be a 50% divorce rate? Would pedophiles and rapists be as prevalent as they are today? Would it be dangerous to venture out at night alone? Would countless families have to worry every night about losing their home, having food to eat or having their power turned off? Would there be single parents throwing their newborn children into dumpsters or killing them in the restroom of a convenience store? Would illegal drugs be the epidemic that they are today? Would AIDS be such a problem? Would money still rule our lives?

As each of us lay on our deathbed, what is it that we will be thinking about? Will it be the money we had or didn't have? Will it be who won the second season of "Dancing With the Stars"? Or will we be thinking of the family that we have to leave behind and those that left before us?

10 years ago, I would have easily said that the majority of us would lay on our deathbed and think about the family and love that we must leave behind. I would have said that most of us could have died in peace knowing that our loved ones are there for us in our ultimate time of need and support. Today, however, I am not so sure.

I can't help but wonder how many people are dying alone now because their family has become more in love with money than them. Or how many people die alone because their loved ones abandoned them long ago for some "persona" they met on Myspace.

Something that I have noticed lately is, most of us are completely losing our ability to socialize with REAL PEOPLE. A lot of us seem to completely pull away from the world outside of our door in favor of trying to find friendship and love online. As the result of hardships we all face when in social situations, a great number of us have chosen to "take the easy way out" and throw ourselves blindly into a world where anyone can be exactly who and what you want them to be. Most of us seem to have become so damned cynical and weak that we are sacrificing all the truly great things in life in favor of single serving happiness via an Xbox 360, the internet or a bottle of Jim Beam.

Just looking around the world in which we live today causes the mere THOUGHT of what the world will be like in another 10 years to scare the hell out of me. What kind of future can any of us have if we continue to completely dehumanize ourselves and withdraw from the REAL world in favor of the online world or a world of social seclusion?

Don't get me wrong, a bit of entertainment and the sharing of information with people the world over are NOT bad things. In fact, they are GREAT things, but only in moderation. We, as a species, have a need for a social life. We have a yearning in each of us to give our love to someone else while also receiving love from others. Yet, because of having been hurt in the past, a great number of us give up on real life and try to feel the voids that remain with the "fake" love and caring that we can receive so easily online or after a night of tequila shots and jager bombs.

As a result of this attitude and behavior, we have countless numbers of single parents running around with 4 children by 4 different dads. We have marriages that don't last a year and children that will never know their mother/father. This, in turn, has led to even more bitter and cynical people who seem to be unable to realize that their problems stem from FALSE feelings based on the "image" of someone they thrust themselves so blindly upon because they never really took the time to actually get to KNOW the person before hopping into bed with them.

Yes, I think the world might be a better place if more of us took Mr. Rogers' philosophy a bit more to heart. Sure, the world is not a perfect place like the world of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" but, I refuse to believe that we can't make it a much BETTER place than it is now by taking the simple philosophies of the show and utilizing them in our everyday lives.

I would love nothing more than to see the days return where I have to watch out for the children on Saturday morning and when I get more than 3 rings of my doorbell on Halloween night. I miss seeing the stores full of children begging mommy and daddy to tell Santa Claus about the toy they want that year and how good they have been while beaming a smile that could light up any room. Most of all, I suppose I just miss having true neighbors. Not necessarily just someone who lives next door to me, but neighbors in the sense of having an extended family of friends that are there for each other no matter what.

Who knows, the world may just benefit from us putting the words of Fred Rogers into practice. I do know that it's certainly worth a shot.



NOTE: The reason that I am putting this in general conspiracy is because I personally feel that many of the conspiracies we talk about here are responsible for us becoming the way we are.

A few of those are the ones along the lines of "the government is trying to dumb us down by introducing chemicals into our food and water supplies", "brainwashing of our children through the use of mind numbing television and such" and "conspiracies to drive us apart by making us anti-social". Plus, it happens to be my favorite "hangout".


Jasn




posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 06:51 PM
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The date in the post is accurate.

I wrote this the other night and just haven't posted it until now.





Jasn



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:13 PM
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Most conspiracy theories are due to a lack of trust. This is a problem that is running rampant throughout humanity...

RELIGION

Muslims think Christians,Hindus, Jews and Buddhists are out to get em...

Christians think Muslims, Hindus,Jews, Buddhists Masons, New Agers and Occultists are out to get em...

Hindus and Buddhists think all of the above.

New Agers think everyone is out to get em'.

POLITICS

Need I even say anything here?


I think until there is some sort of trust regained in this world, the situation is only going to get worse. May God have mercy on us all...



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:23 PM
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My point is that all of this is at even a deeper level. Parents are even afraid to let their children play in their yard. Why? LACK OF TRUST... Is it warranted? To an extent, I'd say it is. However, if you want to live in a shell, go live in the mountains... Why even live in the valley?



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:28 PM
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reply to post by SpeakerofTruth
 


Indeed!

Trust has almost completely vanished from the world.

Whether or not that is warranted, however, is a 50/50.

In a good many cases, it's just overprotectiveness coupled with a lack of desire to keep an eye out on them.

Then you have the neighborhoods where bad things are likely to happen.


While I don't believe in god, I share your sentiments.

God help us all indeed!


Jasn



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:34 PM
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Well, Simius, some neighborhoods are indeed very bad...

Of course, you have some very sick people in this world who view children as objects. Let me tell you a story,Simius...

I was born here in Texas and raised. However my dad was from West Virginia. He was shocked when he moved down here in 1981 and realized that the people down here don't even know their own neighbors. Where he was from, neighbors got together on the weekends and had cookouts, parties, et cetera... There was none of that in the great state of Texas as far as he could tell.

Now, I just have to wonder if it was that Texas was so different, or if people were beginning to change around about that time. If the latter is true, my dad never did adapt very well... He didn't "evolve"
, I suppose.


Anyway, I think it's a sad state of affairs indeed... Until something changes, like I said, things are just going to become progressively worse.



posted on Dec, 3 2007 @ 07:50 PM
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I like your post.


I remember growing up in Miami, Florida, and coming home from school with all my friends and putting on roller blades and going for a spin for miles and miles with my friends and not a care in the world, it seemed. On Halloween we would take pillow cases and fill them, then go back until 9 pm and fill them again. Children were everywhere and it was a magical time.
Now things are so different
Its so sad to see children sequestered at home for fear something will happen to them... All it takes is a second, and they could go missing forever...
That is my biggest fear.
Its every parents worse nightmare.
Too bad things had to change so much with the passage of time.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:35 AM
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I always like your posts Simius, and this one is no different.


In my short 26 years on this planet we call earth, I have seen exactly what you mean happen before my eyes. The days of the social neighbourhood have gone, and all that is left is places where people live. I have lived in my current residence for about 2 months, and have yet to meet any of my neighbours, even the guy right next door. I've tried, but people look at me like I'm crazy if I try to say even more than "Hi, nice day isn't it." It's a shame really.

I can't say I'm not guilty of perpetrating this type of behaviour myself, because that would be a lie. I just feel that if nobody wants to take an interest in getting together to get to know each other better, why try anymore. Facebook and Myspace have taken over. TV is crap. At least theres ATS, where an actual discussion can take place without trying to decipher the "language of the net" You know lol,ttyl,rofl et cetera.

Can we ever return to the old days? I really hope so.



[edit on 12/4/2007 by Kronik98]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 12:57 AM
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Great post brother
You have articulated well what many of us think from day to day.

The world has indeed grown cold around us all, and sadly some are too far removed to even notice. I can hardly bare to even think of what the world will be like in another 10-20 years. I feel bad for the ones who are growing up now, the ones who will only know life in a post 9/11 America. What a shame...I remember when being an American was actually fun.


Would give you a WATS if I could



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 02:07 AM
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Good to see that I'm not alone in my feelings.

While I have my cynical moments with the best of them....I would be lying if I said these things didn't crush me everytime the reality of them hits me.


Jasn



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 02:48 AM
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Mr Rogers was a great man. I watched him when I was less than 5 years old. More people like that in the world would only be a good thing.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 02:54 AM
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reply to post by Blueracer
 


Indeed!


I even TRIED to dig up some dirt on him and could find NOTHING! (Aside from urban legends of course)

How many "celebrities" can one say that about?


Jasn



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 06:48 AM
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We, or for the most part children these days, have become slaves to technology and advertising. Imagine a world without video games and the neighborhoods you describe may exist. The Internet has reduced most normal social circles to people tucked away in their homes lucky to see the light of day let alone mingle with others.

Kids for the most part these days are lazy, self serving and guided with little discipline and values. They are usually outspoken and rude to boot. I don't blame them specifically I blame lousy parenting and silly online social networks that give the illusion of family status and well being. This won't change though and it will only get worse.

The world doesn't need another Mr. Rogers, it needs less TV/Internet.

brill

[edit on 4-12-2007 by brill]



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 07:04 AM
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posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:06 AM
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Consume.

Obey.

Be Afraid.

Shut Up.



Eff that. Don't buy their junk. Buy stuff that's real, important and useful. Don't do what they say just because they claim it's for your own good. Fear nothing or you will forever be a prisoner in your own mind. Never be silent against evil and tyranny. Expose it, shame it, make it crawl back into the corners of the night, and TAKE BACK THIS BEAUTIFUL WORLD.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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Mr. Rogers Says Goodbye. I belive he sums it up quite nicely here. Nice post Simius.





posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 08:58 AM
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My hometown has changed also.When I was growing up there was ALWAYS something to do.In my teen years we would hang out in town, and town was always full of people hanging out,cruising town,and just plain having fun.Now days ,town is empty and theres a very bad heroin problem here.Crime is the worst its ever been.Kids don't hang out no more,Its nothing to pick up a newspaper and read about a 17 year old kid dying of an overdose,or being arrested for robbery.



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:20 AM
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reply to post by kleverone
 


Indeed K1


If we could all have half the amount of caring Fred Rogers had, the world would be a much better place.


Here is another vid in which his caring and sincerity shine through.






Jasn



posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:34 AM
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SimiusDei, this is a beautiful post which caused me to reflect on a different time long gone. Let's keep a belief somewhere in our hearts that it can, tho, and soon will somehow return. Mr. Rogers could very well have been the mascot for human love and togetherness . .

Speaker, if I may insert my two pennies: I think it was just the changing of paradigms around 1981, as -- similar to your story -- my father brought us to S TX from W TX, where the magic of my childhood had taken place, a very Whoville-like experience growing up (at least regarding community and human love for one another). Seems like things just began changing everywhere around the early-to-mid 80's, and I've been philanthropically astonished ever since. I believe human beings everywhere are astonished at this corporate farce imitating life, today.

Almost a nostalgic tear, kleverone
... thnx for the clip, needed the warmth this morn . .




posted on Dec, 4 2007 @ 09:55 AM
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I live in Northern China, and love every minute.

If i walk in the street locals ask me if i want to have a beer and talk with them about USA, they never let me pay. If i drive around town, they move and give me right of way. If i go to the store the sales people ask if i need any help.

In the complex where i live they invite me to dinner, lunch, outings, picnics, camping, parties, etc...its like being a member of their familys.

I left the USA because it was getting more and more brutal, drivebys, out of control govt and police. China is very peacefull, wonderfull history and rich culture to lern from. There are some problems, but the worst problem in china is akin to the smallest problem in the USA.



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