Pocket Quotes


It’s been awhile since I’ve had a case of the Mondays.  You know – cross-country move for the family and looking for a job and home.  Takes up time.  If all goes according to plan, I should be waking up early on Mondays again.

But unemployed does mean un-busy.  I’m reading a lot, such as going through a book of quotes and inspirations.  So happens that I’m going through one by Fred Rogers… Mister Rogers is probably how you know him.

I’m reading about how he kept quotes in his pocket or wallet.  Daily inspirations that keep him going.

Everyone can use support.  Even Mister Rogers.  I’m sure Fred got a case of the Mondays too.  Every morning he had to get in front of the camera and put on a show.  If you read about him, you know that he was a shy guy.  Can’t imagine summoning the courage to do that every day: filming for the whole nation and world to see.

On challenging days, Fred would read one of the quotes he had on him.  His wife said he had many.  One the quotes he carried was a poem by a woman named Bessie Anderson Stanley.  Her poem was a submission to a contest.  People had a 100 words or less to describe “what is success?”  This was her submission:

“He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men, and the love of little children, who has filled his niche and accomplished his task, who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul, who has never lacked appreciation of Earth’s beauty or failed to express it, who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had, whose life was an inspiration, whose memory a benediction.”

Moral of the Story: Search, write, and keep words of encouragement.

Quotes resonate because they touch a part of who you are or something you aspire to be.  This one got to me – Bessie’s poem.  And I really like the idea that, perhaps while Fred was filming with toy trains and puppets, he had Bessie’s poem folded in his pocket.

On days when it’s difficult or challenging in the classroom, being yelled at by a parent, or have an overwhelming amount of paperwork to do, little notes of encouragement go a long way.  And they don’t even have to be from someone famous or historical.  They can be from you.

Oh, and Bessie won the contest by the way.


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