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“I started thinking about what the bravest thing I’d ever done was,” Charlie Mackesy told GQ Magazine in December of 2020, “and I realized it was having the courage to ask for help, so that’s what I drew.”
Mackesy, artist, and author of the bestselling book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse, never set out to make a bestseller. “I just wanted to make a book that might benefit someone somewhere.”
His book, published in 2019, has done far more than that, selling over two million copies so far, spreading hope all around the world.
Before the book came to life, he posted his iconic sketches on Instagram. Mackesy, whimsical and candid, suffers from anxiety and depression, using his art to process his difficult emotions, sharing them with others who might be suffering too.
His hopeful sketches were so popular that they evolved into the book that would become a phenomenon. On the surface, it’s a heartwarming story about a curious boy and his journey with a cake-obsessed mole, a weary fox, and a horse full of wisdom.
But its power is the message about the importance of kindness and the courage to share our struggles, messages that have caught on like wildfire.
I began reading the book last year during the height of the pandemic. I was worn down and overwhelmed and found the pictures warm and uplifting. But what immediately gripped me were the conversational quotes that filled me with a sense of courage and hope I was missing.
The more I read, the better I felt, and that still holds today.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse. May they fill you with courage, kindness, and hope:
>> “What do you think is the biggest waste of time?” Asked the boy. “Comparing yourself to others,” said the mole.
>> “One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things,” said the mole.
>> “We often wait for kindness…but being kind to yourself can start now,” said the mole.
>> “Often, the hardest person to forgive is yourself,” said the mole.
>> “What is the bravest thing you’ve ever said?” Asked the boy. “Help,” said the horse.
>> “What do you think is a true sign of strength?” Asked the boy. “Gentleness,” said the horse.
>> “Sometimes I don’t feel very brave,” said the boy “That was brave of you to say,” said the horse.
>> “Tears fall for a reason and they are your strength, not weakness,” said the horse.
>> “When have you been at your strongest?” Asked the boy. “When I have dared to show my weakness,” said the horse.
>> “Asking for help isn’t giving up,” said the horse. “It’s refusing to give up.”
>> “Sometimes just getting up and carrying on is brave and magnificent,” said the horse.
>> “The greatest illusion,” said the mole, “is that life should be perfect.”
>> “Is your glass half empty or half full?” Asked the mole. “I think I’m grateful to have a glass,” said the boy.
>> “When the dark clouds come…keep going,” said the horse.
>> “What’s your best discovery?” Asked the mole. “That I’m enough as I am,” said the boy.
>>”What do we do when our hearts hurt?” Asked the boy. “We wrap them in friendship, shared tears and time, till they wake hopeful and happy again,” said the mole.
>> “Do you have any other advice?” asked the boy. “Don’t measure how valuable you are by the way you are treated,” said the horse.