If you grew up around the 70s, then you probably have been part of the generation that loved Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. The PBS show that ran for 30 years made a huge impact on children’s TV shows. But more importantly, it taught us the values of being ‘neighborly’.
Who Is Fred Rogers
Born as Fred McFeely Rogers on March 20, 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, Fred lived a somewhat lonely childhood. He was shy, introverted, and suffered from asthma. He also experienced bullying. Things started to be better when he attended Latrobe High School. Fred began making friends, and even joined a few extra-curricular activities.
Fred Rogers became a puppeteer and ordained minister. His involvement in television began in 1953, working as a program developer at WQED. His reasoning was that, he hated television, but thought it would be a great medium for teaching values. 10 years later, he would find himself working at CBC in Toronto for a 15-minute children’s show that aired from 1963 to 1967.
His iconic appearance on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS would begin in 1968. The show would be famous not only for its slow, quiet pace, but also for its imaginative elements, like the castle and trolley. It would be one of the longest-running programs on PBS, airing from 1968 to 2001.
Lessons from Mister Rogers
We can make a difference in our own small ways. Although Jim Crow laws have ended by this time, inequality and racism were still active. True to his gentle nature however, Fred did his own kind of rallying and picketing: by casting black actors. This shows that wherever we are, and whatever work we do, we can always find a way to help those who are oppressed or vulnerable.
People are more complex than we think. In an age when social media makes it easy for us to label even our loved ones and friends, Fred reminds us think about our actions. One of his favorite quotes reads: ‘L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux’, which translates to ‘What is essential is invisible to the eye.’ Before we judge others, may we remember that we too, have our own intricacies and problems that affect our behavior. But…
Our feelings and issues shouldn’t be an excuse for bad behavior. When Fred was called to testify before a Senate subcommittee in 1969, he simply sat calmly and explained his side. It’s easy to rant and shout and pound your fists. What’s not so easy is to take it all back.
Understanding your emotions and channelling it to something else that won’t hurt or harm others is something we could all benefit from.
The Fred Rogers Legacy
Fred Rogers had a way of talking to kids through the television screen that captured the hearts and minds of the show’s viewers. At its peak, with more than a million households tuned in, one can say that many of today’s parents were once educated by the gentle Mister Rogers.
The songs, lessons, and mild mannerisms are tender reminders for us to always be mindful of others. That we are all different; yet we all need the same things: love, understanding, and kindness. Being neighborly means helping those around you.
Being kind doesn’t need a lot of effort. Let these Fred Rogers quotes remind you to be a good neighbor today.
Fred Rogers Quotes
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero. “ – Fred Rogers
- “As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has – or ever will have – something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.” – Fred Rogers
- “Discovering the truth about ourselves is a lifetime’s work, but it’s worth the effort.” – Fred Rogers
- “Like all of life’s important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives.” – Fred Rogers
- “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?” – Fred Rogers
- “I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.” – Fred Rogers
- “It’s really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we do is more important than what we are. Of course, it’s the opposite that’s true: What we are ultimately determines what we do!” – Fred Rogers
- “Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” – Fred Rogers
- “Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.” – Fred Rogers
- “Little by little we human beings are confronted with situations that give us more and more clues that we are not perfect.” – Fred Rogers
- “Love and success, always in that order. It’s that simple AND that difficult.” – Fred Rogers
- “Love is like infinity: You can’t have more or less infinity, and you can’t compare two things to see if they’re ‘equally infinite.’ Infinity just is, and that’s the way I think love is, too.” – Fred Rogers
- “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” – Fred Rogers
- “Peace means far more than the opposite of war. The next one is extra relevant today.” – Fred Rogers
- “Love isn’t a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like ‘struggle’. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” – Fred Rogers
- “Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.” – Fred Rogers
- “Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love.” – Fred Rogers
- “Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.” – Fred Rogers
- “Nobody else can live the life you live. And even though no human being is perfect, we always have the chance to bring what’s unique about us to live in a redeeming way.” – Fred Rogers
- “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” – Fred Rogers
- “Real strength has to do with helping others.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “There’s a world of difference between insisting on someone’s doing something and establishing an atmosphere in which that person can grow into wanting to do it.” – Fred Rogers
- “The connections we make in the course of a life – maybe that’s what heaven is.” – Fred Rogers
- “The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self.” – Fred Rogers
- “The kingdom of God is for the broken hearted” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “The only thing evil can’t stand is forgiveness.” – Fred Rogers
- “It’s not so much what we have in this life that matters. It’s what we do with what we have. The next one made me tear up, not gonna lie.” – Fred Rogers
- “The thing I remember best about successful people I’ve met all through the years is their obvious delight in what they’re doing and it seems to have very little to do with worldly success. They just love what they’re doing, and they love it in front of others.” – Fred Rogers
- “The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.” Try your best to make goodness attractive. That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” – Fred Rogers
- “There are times when explanations, no matter how reasonable, just don’t seem to help.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “There’s a part of all of us that longs to know that even what’s weakest about us is still redeemable and can ultimately count for something good.” – Fred Rogers
- “We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers
- “We speak with more than our mouths. We listen with more than our ears.” – Fred Rogers
- “Whatever we choose to imagine can be as private as we want it to be. Nobody knows what you’re thinking or feeling unless you share it.” – Fred Rogers
- “Who you are inside is what helps you make and do everything in life.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.’” – Fred Rogers
- “You can think about things and make believe. All you have to do is think and they’ll grow.” – Fred Rogers
- “You can’t really love someone else unless you really love yourself first.” – Fred Rogers
- “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.” – Fred Rogers