Book Review: 'The World According to Mister Rogers" by Fred Rogers

I have such fond memories of watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood. I didn't wholly appreciate the essense of what Fred Rogers did through his program until I recently watched the documentary, Won't You Be My Neighbor? Hearing Mister Rogers speak about how important it was to him to not just make a program for entertainment sake, but to create something that nurtured children's hearts and answered the most important questions they have, made me realize how unique and important he was.  

I could write so much about Fred Rogers, but I will let him speak for himself. The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember; grab this book, read it cover-to-cover, and take Mister Rogers' words to heart. His wisdom and heart are on full display. 

The Courage to Be Yourself

"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."

"When I was a boy I used to think that strong meant having big muscles, great physical power; but the longer I live, the more I realize that real strength has much more to do with what is not seen. Real strength has to do with helping others."

"Little by little we human beings are confronted with situations that give us more and more clues that we aren't perfect."

Understanding Love

"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."

"People have said, 'Don't cry' to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, 'I'm too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don't cry.' I'd rather have them say, 'Go ahead and cry. I'm here to be with you.'"

"You bring all you ever were and are to any relationship you have today."

"Human relationships are primary in all of living. When the gusty winds blow and shake our lives, if we know that people care about us, we may bend with the wind...but we won't break."

The Challenges of Inner Discipline

"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."

We Are All Neighbors

"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 uniqeness and to provide ways of developing its expression."

"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 chlid is a hero to me."

"We want to raise our children so that they can take a sense of pleasure in both their own heritage and the diversity of others."

"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."

"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."

"The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile."