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Won’t you be my neighbor?

Hello, money nerds. It’s Friday. But you knew that already. Typically, Jim and I would bring you a daily dose of money news, but I’ve commandeered today’s edition of Apex Money from him to write about something entirely different.

If you follow me at Get Rich Slowly, you know that I suffer from depression and anxiety. This has been especially bad over the past month, and I don’t know why. But last week, on a whim, I watched last year’s documentary about Mr Rogers, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?“.

Then, because I’m a nerd, I dove deep. I started reading about the live of Fred Rogers. More importantly, I started listening to what he said. I started paying attention to his philosophy.

Within 24 hours, I was feeling better about myself — and about the world.

Mr. Rogers made a mission out of speaking to children. He wanted to connect with them where they were. But let me tell you: He connected with this fifty-year-old man. His message of radical love and acceptance was just what I needed to hear. He believes that it’s important for every person to learn how to love — and to be loved in return.

So, today’s edition of Apex Money has nothing whatsoever to do with money. It has everything to do with Mr. Rogers. But I promise you that if you take the time to read and watch the pieces here, you’ll be better for it.


Can you say…”Hero”? [Esquire] — “He was barely more than a boy himself when he learned what he would be fighting for, and fighting against, for the rest of his life. He was in college. He was a music major at a small school in Florida and planning to go to seminary upon graduation. His name was Fred Rogers. He came home to Latrobe, Pennsylvania, once upon a time, and his parents, because they were wealthy, had bought something new for the corner room of their big redbrick house. It was a television.”

What would Mister Rogers do? [The Atlantic] — “He lost, and that the digitization of all human endeavor has devoured his legacy as eagerly as it has devoured everything else. But that he stands at the height of his reputation 16 years after his death shows the persistence of a certain kind of human hunger — the hunger for goodness. He had faith in us, and even if his faith turns out to have been misplaced, even if we have abandoned him, he somehow endures…

Next, here’s a story that’s not about Fred Rogers but about Tom Hanks, another prototypical “nice guy”. Hanks plays Rogers in new movie, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, which is out in theaters today.

This Tom Hanks story will help you feel less bad. [The New York Times] — “Tom Hanks is as nice as you think he is and exactly what you hope him to be, which is great unless you are someone trying to tell a good story about him, with elements like an arc and narrative tension. ‘Saintly Actor Playing Saintly Public Television Children’s Host Mister Rogers Is Saintly’ is not a great story. But what am I supposed to do? He sat facing me, cheerful and focused and willing. Maybe this could just be a story that makes you feel better.

Finally, here’s three-and-a-half minutes of Mr. Rogers bloopers and outtakes!

My hope is that at least one Apex reader will consume all of these pieces today and find that her life is better because of it. Because mine was.

Thank you for joining us, neighbor. Please know that you are loved. And please tell somebody you know that you love them.

We’ll be back on Monday with articles that are actually about money.