Discovering Mister Rogers

Years ago I discovered I am a happier being if I don’t watch or listen to the news. Events and news frequently filters through through despite my efforts. Sometimes as a balance to all the woeful news it is good to be reminded of the wonderful side of human beans.

My reminder this week came when  I saw on an article on Atlas Obscura entitled “The Grave of Mister Rogers”.   It reminded me I had discovered some of the wonderful things Mister Rogers had said and saved it for an article ‘one day’.  This week seems a good time, and today is that ‘one day’.

What’s all this got to do with brain injury.  Nothing specifically – yet a lot really. Many of the quotes I have read describe empathy, compassion, tolerance, acceptance, being non-judgemental.  All attributes which would serve us well – brain injury or not.

Confession – until stumbling across the articles a few years ago I had not heard of  “Mr Rogers”. I do not remember his TV show  ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’.   (And yes to all those comedians who know me – maybe it is because I am a Kiwi). Mr Fred Rogers seems to have known how to encourage people to be their best.  That is something we all need more of in our lives.

Today I am sharing just a few of the quotes I found. If you grew up watching Mr Rogers or know more about him please share your story in the Comments below.  For those who do not know Mr Rogers or for those who would like a reminder. Here is an interview with a very young Joan Rivers:

More in the following articles:

In the Atlas Obscura article – in addition to talking about his grave site the article told a little of the story of Mr Rogers.

The blog Longreading featured an article  “The Wisdom of Mr Rogers.

“10 Mister Rogers Quotes to Remember on Bad Days”


A Taste of the Wisdom of Mr Rogers

A Sense of Worth:

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

Real Strength

“Most of us, I believe, admire strength. It’s something we tend to respect in others, desire for ourselves, and wish for our children. Sometimes, though, I wonder if we confuse strength and other words–like aggression and even violence. Real strength is neither male nor female; but is, quite simply, one of the finest characteristics that any human being can possess.”

Discovering Uniqueness and Value

“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.”


“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.”

New Beginning

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

The Helper

“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.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers–so many caring people in this world.”


“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.”


“Confronting our feelings and giving them appropriate expression always takes strength, not weakness. It takes strength to acknowledge our anger, and sometimes more strength yet to curb the aggressive urges anger may bring and to channel them into nonviolent outlets. It takes strength to face our sadness and to grieve and to let our grief and our anger flow in tears when they need to. It takes strength to talk about our feelings and to reach out for help and comfort when we need it.”


(The above quotes are mostly to be found on Good Reads )

Mr Fred Rogers was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1999, in this video of his speech one can see the impact he has on the audience. He also invites them – and us to give thought to those who have helped us and encouraged us …

“Who in your life has been such a servant to you … who has helped you love the good that grows within you? Let’s just take ten seconds to think of some of those people who have loved us and wanted what was best for us in life–those who have encouraged us to become who we are tonight–just ten seconds of silence.”


And Finally

The Mr Rogers Neighborhood Theme song from his TV show:

2 Responses to Discovering Mister Rogers

  1. Timothy June 17, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    After my brain injury I too found that simple was better. Not that because of injury we needed to stick to crayons because a pen was beyond our capabilities. In many ways, the injury also provided a wake up. Why barrage to mind with all of the dirty noise of modern television? Nature has come back with quiet like the icing on the cake!

    • Melanie Atkins June 20, 2016 at 10:04 pm #

      Thankyou Timothy, the reminder that simple is better needs to be put often. For everyone but particularly in many aspects of living with brain injury.