The way Mr. Rogers viewed the world was magnificent.
He was always looking for the good—in people, in situations. And in today’s world, where it seems the negative is always highlighted on social media and in the news and even in personal discussions, he continues to be a light, even after his death.
For the record, I’m not saying the negative isn’t important. It’s more than important. We can’t fix what we don’t discuss. But I think it’s also necessary to find balance. To seek out what makes us smile, what inspires us, what puts a bounce in our step.
This quote from Mr. Rogers does just exactly that:
“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 uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expression.”
It’s too easy to find ourselves in a downward spiral these days as we are faced with crisis after crisis, on top of the hardships life has thrown at us since the dawn of time. We’re already having to manage grief and stress and heartbreak and illness and financial or family woes—the list goes on. Life’s rough, sometimes.
Once we find ourselves on a downward slope, we often start to pick at ourselves, too. It’s like the opposite of rose-colored glasses—when they’re on, they show you how crappy the world is, and how crappy you are, and how crappy life is.
This is the quote that can shake us out of our downward spiral and help us remember our worth.
It reminds us to think of a quality that is uniquely ours, that we are proud of, and that we can use to contribute some goodness to the world. Then, we start to notice others’ qualities that are uniquely them and the good they do in the world. We start to remember everyone’s inherent worth, regardless of what’s going on in the world. Then, things don’t feel so bleak.
Plus: 10 more inspiring Mr. Rogers quotes to bring you out of an “everything’s bad” funk:
“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 are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.”
“The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.”
“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?”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.”
The best Mr. Rogers speech I’ve ever heard.