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The Wisdom of Mr. Rogers

A few years ago, I made the mistake of watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, a documentary about Mr. Rogers, on an airplane flight. The mistake was not in viewing the film. No, my error was in not anticipating how much it would make me cry, which must have alarmed those sitting around me. I highly encourage everyone 13+ to view the exquisite film in the privacy of your own home with tissues at the ready.

Monarch’s mission statement includes the promise to put the needs of children first, and there exist few public figures who better embody this endeavor. Mr. Rogers taught us to embrace children for the people they are, help them learn and grow, and model kindness above all else. Here are some great quotes attributed to Mr. Rogers:

On Helping

“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’s a world of difference between insisting on someone's doing something and establishing an atmosphere in which that person can grow into wanting to do it.”

On Love and Acceptance

“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.”

On Hardship

“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.”

“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.”

On Kindness

“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.”

On Priorities

“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.”

“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.”

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