28 Inspiring Mister Rogers Quotes That Can Make Any Day a “Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

 

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For decades, children have found a friend in Fred Rogers. A beloved television personality, talented composer, and imaginative puppeteer, Rogers became a household name when Mister Rogers' Neighborhood made its debut in 1968. During the popular program's 33-year run, Rogers helped kids come to terms with the trials, tribulations, and facts of life. Whether walking little ones through the magical manufacturing of crayons or helping them cope with everything from daycare to divorce, Rogers managed to frame each episode around a simple question: “Won't you be my neighbor?”

Though among Fred Rogers' more famous lines, this familiar prompt is not his only inspiring quote. During his 60-year career, Rogers was admired by children and adults alike for his authentic way with words. Now, nearly twenty years after his death, Rogers' tried-and-true advice remains more relevant than ever, whether comforting familiar faces, inspiring a generation of new neighbors, or simply shedding light on an already luminous legacy.

Learn about life, love, and an inspiring legacy with these Mister Rogers quotes.

 

On Children and Growing Up

In 1928, Fred Rogers was born in Pittsburgh. As a child, he was bullied by his peers—a situation that would undoubtedly inspire a later, lifelong dedication to helping children.

 

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“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.”

“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.”

“Children are to be respected and I respect them deeply. They've taught me an awful lot.”

“From the time you were very little, you've had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, loved you into loving.”

 

On the Real Road to Success

A man of many words, songs, and puppets, Rogers tested several different paths as a young adult. After graduating with a degree in music, Rogers launched a career in local television before becoming a minister of the United Presbyterian Church in 1963.

 

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“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.”

“Love and success, always in that order. It's that simple AND that difficult.”

“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!”

“Often when you think you're at the end of something, you're at the beginning of something else.”

“Often out of periods of losing come the greatest strivings toward a new winning streak.”

 

On Being a Good Neighbor

In 1968, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood made its debut. During its 33 years on the airwaves, the popular program helped children grasp several important life lessons, including what it means to be a good neighbor…

 

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“Listening is where love begins: listening to ourselves and then to our neighbors.”

“Real strength has to do with helping others.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

 

On Living in the Moment

How to exist in the present…

 

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“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.”

“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.”

“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?”

 

On Being Yourself

…And the beauty of being you.

 

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“Who you are inside is what helps you make and do everything in life.”

“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.”

“There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person. In a way, you’ve already won in this world because you’re the only one who can be you.”

“Whether we're a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we're acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.”

“You've made this day a special day, by just your being you. There's no person in the whole world like you; and I like you just the way you are.”

 

On What Makes a Real-Life Hero

Though Fred Rogers passed away in 2001, his impact and influence can still be felt today. In addition to his one-of-a-kind approach to both education and entertainment, he is celebrated for his views on “helpers,” ordinary people who make an extraordinary difference. Central to both his life and legacy, encouraging people to help others is among Mister Rogers' most important contributions—both in public broadcasting and beyond.

 

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“Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero. “

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.'”

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.

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