"It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood,
A beautiful day for a neighbor.
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?...
Please won't you be my neighbor?"
That iconic song and voice still lives on, deep in the hearts of children and adults all over the world. And in case you didn't immediately recognize it, it's the theme song for "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," a children's educational show starring Fred Rogers.
What set the show apart from other children's programming was Mr. Rogers' lessons and the values he tried to instill in his young viewers — lessons about acceptance, self-love, forgiveness, confidence and other emotions.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of show's U.S. network debut on Feb. 19, 1968 — and a nod to the show's earlier life on CBC Television — here's a collection of some of his most helpful quotes, no matter how old you are.
"When we love a person, we accept him or her exactly as is: the lovely with the unlovely, the strong with the fearful, the true mixed in with the façade, and of course, the only way we can do it is by accepting ourselves that way."
Helping one another
"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."
"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."
Look for the helpers
"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."
"Forgiveness is a strange thing. It can sometimes be easier to forgive our enemies than our friends. It can be hardest of all to forgive people we love. Like all of life's important coping skills, the ability to forgive and the capacity to let go of resentments most likely take root very early in our lives."
"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."
More than a label
"What's been important in my understanding of myself and others is the fact that each one of us is so much more than any one thing. A sick child is much more than his or her sickness. A person with a disability is much, much more than a handicap. A pediatrician is more than a medical doctor. You're MUCH more than your job description or your age or your income or your output."
"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."
Trials of life
"How great it is when we come to know that times of disappointment can be followed by joy; that guilt over falling short of our ideals can be replaced by pride in doing all that we can; and that anger can be channeled into creative achievements ... and into dreams that we can make come true."
To simply sum up Mister Rogers, what better quote than this one: "The greatest gift you ever give is your honest self."