Quotes About the Power of Gentleness





This week we’ve been talking about Mr. Rogers in honor of what would have been his 89th birthday on Monday.  He showed us that gentleness and compassionate respect can impact the world.

Here are a few quotes that follow in that vein and remind us that we don’t have to be bullies or mean people in order to craft a life of deep meaning:

In a gentle way, you can shake the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi


Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength. ~Saint Francis de Sales


A gentle word, a kind look, a good-natured smile can work wonders and accomplish miracles. ~William Hazlitt


In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit. ~Anne Frank


Lord, give us the wisdom to utter words that are gentle and tender, for tomorrow we may have to eat them. ~Mo Udall


Growth is an erratic forward movement: two steps forward, one step back. Remember that and be very gentle with yourself. ~Julia Cameron


Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. ~Garrison Keillor


Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.  ~Kurt Vonnegut


I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.  ~Lao Tse


Is there a quote that you liked better than the others?  Feel free to share in the comments below.  Also, please feel free to pass this post on to a friend.  Thanks!

As always, keep close at hand the quote(s) that resonated with you and refer to them often.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,



Pep Rally from Mr. Rogers

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In case you need a mid-week boost or if you need a reminder of the essentials of live, here are a few quotes from Fred Rogers.


It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff.


If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.


It’s our insides that make us who we are, that allow us to dream and wonder and feel for others. That’s what’s essential. That’s what will always make the biggest difference in our world.


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.


Justice is taking care of those who aren’t able to take care of themselves.


Both Joanne (Mr. Rogers’ wife) and I can recall many times when we wish we’d said or done something different.  But we didn’t, and we’ve learned not to feel too guilty about that.  What gives me my good feelings is that we always cared and always tried to do our best.


It’s you I like,
It’s not the things you wear,
It’s not the way you do your hair–
But it’s you I like.
The way you are right now,
The way down deep inside you–
Not the things that hide you,
Not your toys–
They’re just beside you.

But it’s you I like–
Every part of you,
Your skin, your eyes, your feelings
Whether old or new.
I hope that you’ll remember
Even when you’re feeling blue
That it’s you I like,
It’s you yourself,
It’s you, it’s you I like.


Remember to keep handy the quote(s) that resonated with you.  Refer to them often; let their simple wisdom infuse and empower you.

You can do it!  I believe in you!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Success Tips from Mr. Rogers



I think most people will agree that Mr. Rogers was a successful person.  Since the 1960s he was tireless in his life’s work of encouraging the healthy emotional growth and development of children and their families.  He won many awards and world-wide recognition for his work through his iconic TV program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.  In fact, the Smithsonian in Washington DC has one of his red sweaters in their collection.

But Fred Rogers doesn’t fit the image of a successful person.  He was soft spoken, sort of goofy, and the songs he wrote and sang could be quite corny. He didn’t dress in the latest fashions or live an elitist lifestyle.  A friend of mine happened to be on the same late night flight as Mr. Rogers, who was sitting in the regular seats on the plane, and my friend said he was as genial and kind in person as he was on his TV program.

People made fun of Mr. Rogers, even before Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood became a success.  And afterward, he was the butt of many jokes.  Eddie Murphy and the Saturday Night Live cast did several parodies of him and his TV program.

Even so, Mr. Rogers never wavered in his passion for excellence in children’s TV programming.  He kept on keeping on with what he knew was right and what he felt was his mission, his calling, to achieve.  He was so firm in his convictions about good, nourishing, television programming for children that he stood up to the US Senate and convinced them to continue funding educational TV.

We can all take a lesson from Mr. Rogers.  We don’t have to look a certain way or live in a particular area or be popular.  We don’t have to be loud or extroverted  We don’t have to do crazy, outlandish things to be noticed and we certainly don’t have to “sell our souls to the devil” in order to have an impact.  It’s okay if others don’t get what we’re trying to achieve; it’s even okay if people make fun of us as we pursue our dreams.

We can do as Mr. Rogers did and give all of ourselves, every day, doing the very best we can toward making a difference in a way that matters to us.

Thank you for showing us the way, Mr. Rogers!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


“I Like You Just the Way You Are.” – Mr. Fred Rogers



Today would have been Mr. Roger’s 89th birthday.  He was famous for a number of things:  his powerful testimony in 1967 before the Senate urging them to not cut funding to educational TV, the cardigans and sneakers he’d put on at the beginning of each episode of his TV program, and his manner that was direct and truthful but yet also gentle and compassionate.

Most of all, though, he’s remembered for saying to all:  I like you just the way you are.  What a comfort to hear that, not only for the children watching his show each day but also for the adults who were often watching alongside the kids.

And it was a relief to hear someone say that, and say it in a way that you really, truly, honestly believed Mr. Rogers was speaking directly to you.  The tension you didn’t know you were holding drained out of you when you realize you don’t have to be thinner, taller, younger, older, shorter, heavier, smarter…you get the idea!…in order to be liked.  You can be you, just the way you are, and someone—Mr. Rogers, at least—likes you!

Wow!  What a concept!

Today, in honor of Mr. Rogers’ birthday, I want to take his sentiment and go one step further.  Not only do I join with Mr. Rogers in liking you just the way you are, but I also know you are the best one suited to live your life.  People who you think are much more talented, smarter, etc., than you would make a total and complete mess of your life if they had to live it.  In fact, the smartest most talented and gifted person in the whole world would make worse mistakes if living your life than you may have made in your life.  That’s because they don’t have the innate knowledge, talents, and skills that are needed to live your life.

But you do!  And, isn’t that a grand and wonderful thing?!

Today and this week keep saying to yourself “I like me just the way I am.”  Join me this week on the blog as we continue to talk about this and how it relates to crafting and meaningful life for yourself.

I like you just the way you are and furthermore, I believe in you.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Quotes to Start Your Week Off Right: Viktor E. Frankl



Viktor E. Frankl survived Auschwitz and went on to found Logotherapy, a method of psychotherapy where the patient is guided to discover the meanings to be fulfilled by his/her future.  Frankl believed that the Will to Meaning, as he called it, is one of the most fundamental driving human forces, along with the need for food, clothing, and shelter.

Here are a few of his thoughts—ones that will encourage you to contemplate the deeper reasons for your existence and, thus, directing you toward a personally compelling meaning and purpose in your life.


Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.

You don’t have to respond to everything that happens in your day or week.  You can step back, take a breath, and let the situation unfold more fully before choosing how you want to respond—if at all.  Don’t be so quick to judge or to blurt out that snappy comeback.  Perhaps it’s better to wait a beat or two and give yourself a chance to choose what you do or do not want to do.


When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.

When we encounter situations we don’t like, we’re quick to try to change them.  But perhaps the gift lies not in how strong we are and how well we overcome a setback/challenge/obstacle but rather how we can see what it’s revealing in us that needs strengthening or improving or changing in some way.


Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.

This is another way of saying what Nietzsche said: “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”


When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.

Pleasure’s satisfactions are fleeting and, like a drug, one finds that they need more and more of it to receive the same level of pleasure.  Meaning, on the other hand, sates the deep need within all of us to live lives that matter.


Make a note of the quote(s) that resonated with you and keep them handy; refer to them often this week.

Which quote resonated with you?  Let me know in the comments below.  Thanks!

Please feel free to pass this post along to a friend who may need a boost.  Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Back by Popular Demand: You’ve Failed? Congratulations!




Bad choices, mistakes, and plain old stupidity.  Nobody wants to acknowledge these, much less talk about them.  People want to hear success stories, find the keys to success, and learn the 3 steps or 7 steps or 12 steps–or however many steps are in vogue at this moment–to success.  The media and our culture glorify it, making us feel envious and less-than, which Madison Avenue loves because then they can sell us something to “solve” it.

However, failure is one of the most important things you can do, as long as you don’t let it defeat you and as long as you don’t quit!

In spite of how discouraged–or ridiculous or stupid–you may feel and no matter how hard it is, take the next step!

Moving forward, even if it’s only by an infinitesimally small increment, is the only way to get through (around, under, or over) what seems like failure and defeat.  In reality, it’s a stepping-stone to a breakthrough for you.


So, in the words of Winston Churchill, “When you’re going through hell, keep going!”  

Here are a few other quotes that might inspire and motivate you:

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

– Truman Capote

Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.

– Marilyn vos Savant,

Fall down seven times, get up eight.

- Japanese Proverb

I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.

– Michael Jordan


Jot down any of the quotes that resonated with you and keep them handy so you can refer to them often.  I’m so proud of you for not giving in, for finding the steel and the fire within, and for moving forward.  

Your Friend and Pep Pal,


Irish Blessings and Sayings for a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!





May the blessing of light be upon you,
Light on the outside,
Light on the inside.

With God’s sunlight shining on you,
May your heart glow with warmth,
Like a turf fire
that welcomes friends and strangers alike.

May the light of the Lord shine from your eyes,
Like a candle in the window,
Welcoming the weary traveller.


May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.




If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.


May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


Here’s to a fellow who smiles
When life runs along like a song.
And here’s to the lad who can smile
When everything goes dead wrong.




May you see God’s light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall—
You do not walk alone.


May you live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.


May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.




Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.

Always remember to forget
The friends that proved untrue.
But never forget to remember
Those that have stuck by you.

Always remember to forget
The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember
The blessings that come each day.



Do not resent growing old.
Many are denied the privilege.


May the saddest day of your future be no worse
Than the happiest day of your past.


May the most you wish for
Be the least you get.




Grant me a sense of humor, Lord,
The saving grace to see a joke,
To win some happiness from life,
And pass it on to other folk.




May your troubles be less

And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.


May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been
the foresight to know where you’re going
and the insight to know when you’re going too far.


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May there be spring enough in your life
to outlast the winters;
May there be guitars (and drums) enough
to lift your spirits whenever you need it;
May you be gentle enough to comfort those who are hurting,
But revolutionary enough to bring heaven to those who need it now.
May there always be a leprechaun near you
to bring out laughter and dance with the child in you.
And may God always have room enough for you in the palm of his hand!


I hope you enjoyed these.  If there is one that resonated with you, keep it handy to refer to often.

Your Friend and Pep Pal,