I read a study yesterday. It said that last year, more than half of us actually chose NOT to take our full vacation from our jobs. Question: Don’t you think it’s crazy that so many of us go into work even when we don’t need to be there? Times we could be on the beach buried in sand, or traveling the earth. We spend it in the office traveling from desk to desk. Buried in paper work.
See, in this chaotic world, everything goes so fast. We’re so busy, seems like everyone’s middle name is “Multi-Task”. But now, now before you go and act all, holier-than-thou, how many extra tabs do you have open on your computer, right now?
See, we all need time to get away from the race. Four our family, friends, for the sake of our mental state. Time to rewind, recharge, and reconnect. Not reporting to the office on e-mails that should be on re-direct. Because Life, ladies and gentlemen, is all about moments. No one in history has ever been able to hold onto one, not a single soul. And you never get them back.
See? There one goes. No do-over, no rewind, no DVD root menu to skip to a previous scene. Ask yourself, how many trips did you almost take? How many sites have you almost seen? How many moments have you lost thinking about the next one? Thinking that, once you get this, or get there, maybe that will be the best one. Life has taught me that, all we will ever have is, NOW.
But let me be perfectly clear… I’m not saying to quit your job. Even though I know you deserve a six-month vacation, twice a year. But how about, small steps, short trips, with long dances, no distractions. Spend time with family instead of co-workers. Meditation instead of aggravation. Replace our screensavers with sunrises, palm pilots with palm trees, jammed copy machines with… Man, I really hate jammed copy machines.
The most precious thing we have in life, are moments. Let’s make the most of them before they disappear. Let’s see the world while we still can. And cherish those while they’re still here. Because when our lives are almost over, it won’t matter how much money we made, or hours we worked, or times we got employee of the month. What we will look back on are the memories we made, the hours we spent with those we loved and, were we father of the month, mother of the year, friend of a lifetime.
Holidays should be a time where we, go away and come together.
From now on let’s take a whole vacation, and be fully present.
On May 1, 1969, Fred Rogers appeared before the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee requesting funds to help support the growth of a new concept – National Public Television and his Peabody Award is a testament to that fact. We in Public Television are proud of Fred Rogers and I’m proud to present Mr Rogers to you now.
Mr. Rogers: Senator Pastore, this is a philosophical statement and would take about ten minutes to read, so I’ll not do that. One of the first things that a child learns in a healthy family is trust, and I trust what you have said that you will read this. It’s very important to me. I care deeply about children.
Senator Pastore: Will it make you happy if you read it?
Mr. Rogers: I’d just like to talk about it, if it’s alright. My first children’s program was on WQED 15 years ago, and its budget was $30. Now, with the help of the Sears-Roebuck Foundation and National Educational Television, as well as all of the affiliated stations. Each station pays to show our program. It’s a unique kind of funding in educational television. With this help, now our program has a budget of $6,000. It may sound like quite a difference, but $6,000 pays for less than two minutes of cartoons. Two minutes of animated, what I sometimes say, bombardment.
I’m very much concerned, as I know you are, about what’s being delivered to our children in this country. And I’ve worked in the field of child development for six years now, trying to understand the inner needs of children. We deal with such things as the inner drama of childhood. We don’t have to bop somebody over the head to make drama on the screen. We deal with such things as getting a haircut, or the feelings about brothers and sisters, and the kind of anger that arises in simple family situations. And we speak to it constructively.
Senator Pastore: How long of a program is it?
Mr. Rogers: It’s a half hour every day. Most channels schedule it in the noontime as well as in the evening. WETA here has scheduled it in the late afternoon.
Senator Pastore: Could we get a copy of this so that we can see it? Maybe not today, but I’d like to see the program.
Mr. Rogers: I’d like very much for you to see it.
Senator Pastore: I’d like to see the program itself, or any one of them.
Mr. Rogers: We made a hundred programs for EEN – the Eastern Educational Network, and then when the money ran out, people in Boston and Pittsburgh and Chicago all came to the fore and said we’ve got to have more of this neighbourhood expression of care. And this is what – This is what I give. I give an expression of care every day to each child, to help him realize that he is unique.
I end the program by saying, “You’ve made this day a special day, by just you being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you, and I like you, just the way you are.” And I feel that if we in public television can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health.
I think that it’s much more dramatic that two men could be working out their feelings of anger. Much more dramatic than showing something of gunfire. I’m constantly concerned about what our children are seeing, and for 15 years I have tried in this country and Canada, to present what I feel is a meaningful expression of care.
Senator Pastore: Do you narrate it?
Mr. Rogers: I’m the host, yes. And I do all the puppets and I write all the music, and I write all the scripts.
Senator Pastore: Well, I’m supposed to be a pretty tough guy, and this is the first time I’ve had goose bumps for the last two days.
Mr. Rogers: Well, I’m grateful, not only for your goose bumps, but for your interest in – in our kind of communication. Could I tell you the words of one of the songs, which I feel is very important?
Senator Pastore: Yes.
Mr. Rogers: This has to do with that good feeling of control which I feel that children need to know is there. And it starts out, “What do you do with the mad that you feel?” And that first line came straight from a child. I work with children doing puppets in – in very personal communication with small groups.
“What do you do with the mad that you feel? When you feel so mad you could bite. When the whole wide world seems oh so wrong, and nothing you do seems very right. What do you do? Do you punch a bag? Do you pound some clay or some dough? Do you round up friends for a game of tag or see how fast you go? It’s great to be able to stop when you’ve planned the thing that’s wrong. And be able to do something else instead, and think this song.
I can stop when I want to. Can stop when I wish. Can stop, stop, stop anytime. And what a good feeling to feel like this. And know that the feeling is really mine. Know that there’s something deep inside that helps us become what we can. For a girl can be someday a lady, and a boy can be someday a man.”
Senator Pastore: I think it’s wonderful. I think it’s wonderful. Looks like you just earned the 20 million dollars.
In the far east they have something that’s call the Chinese bamboo tree. The Chinese bamboo tree takes five years to grow. They have to water and fertilize the ground where it is every day, and it doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year. But once it breaks through the ground, within five weeks it grows 90 feet tall.
Now the question is does it grow 90 feet tall in five weeks, or five years?
The answer is obvious. It grows 90 feet tall in five years. Because at any time, had that person stopped watering and nurturing and fertilizing that dream, that bamboo tree would’ve died in the ground.
And I can see people coming out talking to a guy out there watering and fertilizing the ground that’s not showing anything. “Hey, what’cha doing? You’ve been out here a long time, man. And the conversation in the neighbourhood is, you’re growing a Chinese bamboo tree. Is that right?”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
“Well, even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see, ain’t nothing showing. So how long you been working on this? How long have you been working on your dream, and you have nothing to show… This is all you’ve got to show?” People gonna do that to you. And some people, ladies and gentlemen, they stop. Because they don’t see instant results. It doesn’t happen quickly. They stop. Oh, no, no, no, no. You got to keep on watering your dreams.
That is not gonna happen as quickly as you want it to happen. Lot of things gonna happen that will catch you off guard. And so therefore, you’ve got to deal with and handle it as it comes. And not only that, but that faith and patience drives you into action. You’ve got to keep moving. And keep plugging away.
During those hard times, we you don’t know how you’re gonna make payroll. During those times when you fail and things didn’t work out. They were nowhere to be found. But you know what I discovered?
When you’re working at your dream, somebody said, the harder the battle, the sweeter the victory. Oh, it’s sweet, to you. It’s good to you.
Why? See, when it’s hard and there’s a struggle, see what you become in the process is more important than the dream.
That’s far more important. The kind of person you become. The character that you build. The courage that you develop. The faith that you’re manifesting. Oh, it’s something that, you get up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a different kind of person. You walk with a different kind of spirit.
People know that you know what Life is. That you have embraced Life. You knew it was hard. But you did it hard.
There are 4 words that have killed more dreams than rejection, failure, or anyone in the world. So you’re probably wondering, “What are those 4 words?”
We all feel that rejection kills dreams. We all feel that failure kills dreams. We all feel that people kills dreams. [You can’t kill my dreams!]
But actually, there’re 4 words that we say in our heads. To ourselves. That genuinely have destroyed more dreams than all of those things put together. Those 4 words are… WHAT WILL PEOPLE SAY? What will people say? How many times have you stopped yourself from doing something because you’re scared of how people will react?
How many times out of the fear of someone else’s opinion or criticism have you stopped yourself from doing what you believe in? How many times have someone’s perception or perspective stopped you from living your potential? [Too many times to count…]
I want to tell you a story about a man and his father who were walking with their horse through a market. While they were walking through, one of the people in the market saw them, and he said. “You fools! You’re so stupid! If you have a horse, why wouldn’t you ride it? They thought, “Oh, wow, maybe that person’s right.”
So when they went on to the next market, this time, the young man got on top of the horse and the old man walked by its side. In the next market, another person saw them and shouted out, “How insensitive can you be young man? You’re letting your old father walk while you ride the horse. That’s completely inconsiderate!” The young man thought, “Oh wow, maybe that person’s right.” Out of that criticism, he got off the horse and allowed his father to ride the horse.
They arrived in the next market. When they arrived in the next market, one of the people saw them and said, “Oh my god! Old man, why are you being so inconsiderate? You’re being so lazy. You’re letting your son walk while you ride the horse.” Again, the son and the old man thought, “Oh my god, maybe this person’s right.”
And when they went to the next market, they were both riding the horse together. They thought, “This time, no one can have any complaints, no one can have any criticism.” To their surprise, one of the people in the market shouted out, “You’re both the most inconsiderate, lazy people I’ve ever seen. You’re both putting so much weight on this horse. How do you go to sleep at night?”
I love that story and that anecdote because it just shows, no matter what you choose to do, there will always be people who find fault with it. There will always be people who criticize, complain, who try to bring you down and tell you that what you’re doing isn’t right. [Haters gonna hate.]
It’s crazy that we give up what we most want in life just based on people’s opinions. And the crazy thing is, if we’re living for other people’s opinions, we’ll never be right. There will always be someone with something that they don’t agree with. And this is why it’s so important that we work with our own conviction. We work on what matters to us.
It was Aristotle who told us, “There’s only 3 ways to avoid criticism. Do Nothing. Say Nothing. Be Nothing.” And I’m sure none of us want that of our future. So don’t let anyone’s opinion stop you. Don’t let anyone’s criticism hold you back.
Keep following your passions. Invest in what you believe in. And remember: Don’t let people’s compliments get to your head, and don’t let their criticism get to your heart.
Speech Transcript: Thank you! Can you hear me? I don’t want to lean down. I want to thank Bryce and Aubrey, I love you both so much. Thank you MTV for this honour. Real quick thanks to my mum and my dad, and my brother Cully, my sister Angie. I love you, I love our family. We didn’t have a pot to piss in growing up, but we laughed our butts off every day and we still do. And a special mention to my son Jack, who will watch this one day. Kid, I love you. I love you more than anything in the world.
And to the fans, I wouldn’t be here without you. Thank you.
This being the Generation Award, I’m going to cut to the chase and I’m going to speak to you, the next generation. Okay. I accept the responsibility as your elder, so listen up.
This is what I call:
Nine Rules from Chris Pratt: Generation Award Winner
Breathe. If you don’t, you’ll suffocate.
You have a soul. Be careful with it.
Don’t be a turd. If you’re strong, be a protector. And if you’re smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, and do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.
When giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a little piece of hamburger, they won’t even know they’re eating medicine.
Doesn’t matter what it is, earn it. A good dead, reach out to someone in pain, be of service, it feels good, and it’s good for your soul.
God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that. I do.
If you have to poop at a party, but you’re embarrassed because you’re goanna stink up the bathroom, just do what I do. Lock the door, sit down, get all the pee out first. Okay? And then, once all the pee’s done, poop, flush, boom. You minimise the amount of time the poop is touching the air, because if you poop first, it takes you longer to pee and then you’re peeing on top of it, stirring it up, the poop particles create a cloud, it goes out and then everyone in the party will know that you pooped. Just trust me, it’s science.
Learn to pray. It’s easy, and it’s so good for your soul.
Nobody is perfect. People are going to tell you you’re perfect just the way you are. YOU’RE NOT! You are imperfect. You always will be. But there is a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you’re willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift. And like the freedom that we enjoy in this country that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget it. Don’t take it for granted.