Won't you be my neighbor?
I count myself incredibly lucky to have grown up watching Mister Fred Rogers. For those who may not know him, he was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, Presbyterian minster, and a genuine good person. For me, he was the creator, show-runner and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which aired from 1968 to 2001.
The show was formatted in a way in which Mr. Rogers was speaking directly to the viewers about various topics. He made a point to act naturally in front of the camera as he stated, “One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away.” He was right, he was not putting on a show and you could tell that he was being himself and he cared about those he was connecting with.
He tackled subjects that many children’s shows still to this day will not touch with a ten foot pole but he understood the importance of such difficult conversations. He strove to educate children on acceptance of others and your true self and to find kindness in those around you. He was a source of good and hope in a world that seemed lost at times.
Unfortunately he could not live forever but I hope the memory of him stays near and dear to those who grew up with him and hopefully to future generations to come. I know I will always look back with fondness sitting on my grandma’s living room floor with my Telly Tubby in one arm and my cafe con galletas in front of me.
Here are some of my favorite Mr. Rogers quotes to get you by this week…and life.
The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.
“The media shows the tiniest percentage of what people do. There are millions and millions of people doing wonderful things all over the world, and they’re generally not the ones being touted in the news.”
“Love and success, always in that order. It’s that simple AND that difficult.”
“How many times have you noticed that it’s the little quiet moments in the midst of life that seem to give the rest extra-special meaning?”
“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero.”
“You can’t really love someone else unless you really love yourself first.”
“You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.”
“We get so wrapped up in numbers in our society. The most important thing is that we are able to be one-to-one, you and I with each other at the moment. If we can be present to the moment with the person that we happen to be with, that’s what’s important.”
“I hope you’re proud of yourself for the times you’ve said “yes,” when all it meant was extra work for you and was seemingly helpful only to someone else.”
“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”
“Our society is much more interested in information than wonder, in noise rather than silence…And I feel that we need a lot more wonder and a lot more silence in our lives”
“The only thing evil can’t stand is forgiveness.”
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.
“There is no normal life that is free of pain. It’s the very wrestling with our problems that can be the impetus for our growth.”
“There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
“Some days, doing ‘the best we can’ may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn’t perfect on any front-and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else.”
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.”
“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That’s one of the things that connects us as neighbors–in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.”
There are many more beautiful Mr. Roger’s quotes and I highly encourage you read up on his interesting life and why he felt the desire to create Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
If you did grow up watching Mr. Rogers and you want to cry you should definitely watch the trailer for Won’t You Be My Neighbor here. That trailer gets me every time.
Looking for more quotes? Check out our other favorites here!