If there’s anything we can all agree on in these extremely divided times, it’s that we need more people like Fred Rogers in the world.
And to commemorate the new documentary about Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, here are 15 quotes from the man himself.
“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.”
“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.”
“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 somebody else.”
“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. That’s what makes growing humanity the most potentially glorious enterprise on earth.”
“It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets.”
“When I was very young, most of my childhood heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
“There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control.”
“The really important ‘great’ things are never center stage of life’s dramas; they’re always ‘in the wings.’ That’s why it’s so essential for us to be mindful of the humble and the deep rather than the flashy and the superficial.”
“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.'”
“Please think of the children first. If you ever have anything to do with their entertainment, their food, their toys, their custody, their childcare, their health care, their education – listen to the children, learn about them, learn from them. Think of the children first.”
“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.”
“It’s our insides that make us who we are, that allow us to dream and wonder and feel for others. That’s what’s essential. That’s what will always make the biggest difference in our world.”
“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 – and to go on caring even through times that may bring us pain.”
“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.”
“I hope that you’ll remember/ Even when you’re feeling blue/ That it’s you I like/ It’s you yourself/ It’s you, it’s you I like.”
Check out the trailer for the film below.