“The greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.”
In February of 2003, a simple, humble Presbyterian minister passed away in the quiet of his home from cancer, a disease that often does take the elderly just as this gray man was. In most instances, such an event wouldn’t merit mention save the church bulletin. But this man was Fred Rogers. For over three decades, Mister Rogers welcomed countless children through four generations into his neighborhood. His speech at the 1997 Emmy Awards Gala accepting a Lifetime Achievement Award remains one of the most humble and humbling things ever seen on television. Here are ten more quotes from the greatest neighbor we’ll ever have.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“You know, I think everybody longs to be loved, and longs to know that he or she is lovable. And, consequently, the greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.”
“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing, that when we look for what’s best in the person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does; so in appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something truly sacred.
“What do you think it is that drives people to want far more than they could ever use or need? I frankly think it’s insecurity. How do we let the world know that the trappings of this life are not the things that are ultimately important for being accepted?”
“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.”
“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. 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.”
“The real issue in life is not how many blessings we have, but what we do with our blessings. Some people have many blessings and hoard them. Some have few and give everything away.”
“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.”