Less than a year before his death, Fred McFeeley Rogers (1928-2003), television's beloved Mister Rogers, gave a Commencement speech to the graduating class of Dartmouth College, 2002. Here is the "invisible gift" that he gave to the graduates... and all of us...
"I'd like to give you all an invisible gift. A gift of a silent minute to think about those who have helped you become who you are today. Some of them may be here right now. Some may be far away.
Some, like my astronomy professor, may even be in Heaven. But wherever they are, if they've loved you and encouraged you and wanted what was best in life for you, they're right inside yourself.
And I feel that you deserve quiet time on this special occasion to devote some thought to them. So let's just take a minute in honor of those who have cared about us all along the way. One silent minute.
Whomever you've been thinking about, imagine how grateful they must be that during your silent times you remember how important they are to you."
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 lives from which we make our choices is very good stuff."
Thank you, Mr. Rogers for this wonderful gift... By taking the time to pause and remember that our successes are built on the people who helped us along the way, the heart overflows with gratitude and hope.
Now pass this gift on...
Take a silent moment.