More on and from
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.


Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness.  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.  It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and anger flow in tears when they need to.  It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.

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.
When we can resign ourselves to the wishes that will never come true, there can be enormous energies available within us for whatever we can do.  I know a woman who remembers the time when her wish to have children would not be realized.  She remembers the struggle of the final resignation, and then she remembers the outcome of that resignation.  Enormous energies were available to her, which she used in developing uniquely creative work with young parents.
Children who have learned to be comfortably dependent can become not only comfortably independent, but can also become comfortable with having people depend on them.  They can learn, or stand and be learned upon, because they know what a good feeling it can be to be needed.

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.

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.


Part of the problem with the word "disabilities" is that it immediately
suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many
of us take for granted.  But what of people who can't feel?  Or talk
about their feelings?  Or manage their feelings in constructive ways?
What of people who aren't able to form close and strong relationships?
And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have
lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no
joy, no love?  These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.


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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.
When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive
choices about what to do with those feelings.


I wrote in a song that in the long, long trip of growing, there are stops
along the way.  It's important to know when we need to stop, reflect,
and receive.  In our competitive world, that might be called a waste
of time.  I've learned that those times can be the preamble to periods
of enormous growth.  Recently, I declared a day to be alone with
myself.  I took a long drive and played a tape.  When I got to the
mountains, I read and prayed and listened and slept.  In fact, I can't
remember having a calmer sleep in a long, long time.  The next day I
went back to work and did more than I usually get done in three days.


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's an old Italian proverb:  Qui va piano, va sano, va lentano.
That means:  "The person who goes quietly, goes with health and
goes far."  Hurrying up and using a lot of shortcuts
doesn't get us very far at all.


When my mother or my grandmother tried to keep me from climbing
too high, my grandfather would say, "Let the kid walk on the wall.  He's
got to learn to do things for himself."  I loved my grandfather for trusting
me so much.  His name was Fred McFeely.  No wonder I included a lively,
elderly delivery man in our television "neighborhood" whom
we named "Mr. McFeeley."


It's not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life
that 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 firm.


Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928  February 27, 2003) was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister.  Rogers was famous for creating, hosting, and composing the theme music for the educational preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (19682001), which featured his kind-hearted, grandfatherly personality, and directness to his audiences.

Initially educated to be a minister, Rogers was displeased with the way television addressed children and made an effort to change this when he began to write for and perform on local Pittsburgh-area shows dedicated to youth.  WQED developed his own show in 1968 and it was distributed nationwide by Eastern Educational Television Network.  Over the course of three decades on television, Fred Rogers became an icon of American children's entertainment and education.  He was also known for his advocacy of various public causes.  His testimony before a lower court in favor of fair-use recording of television shows to play at another time (now known as time shifting) was cited in a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Betamax case, and he gave now-famous testimony to a U.S. Senate committee, advocating government funding for children's television.

Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, some forty honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, was recognized by two Congressional resolutions, and was ranked No. 35 among TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time.  Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a "Treasure of American History."  On June 25, 2016, a historical marker named the Fred Rogers Historical Marker was placed near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and was named and dedicated in his memory.

adapted from Wikipedia



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