Tag Archives: Inspirational

Fred Rogers Plea to Save Federal Funding for Public Media

Video Transcript:

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.

Senator Pastore: Alright Rogers, you’ve got the floor.

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.

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The Chinese Bamboo Tree – Les Brown Motivational Speech

Video Transcript:

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.

What Will People Say? – Four Words That Ruin Dreams

Video Transcript:

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.

Keep on Pumping – Zig Ziglar Motivation

Video Transcript:

If everybody could become an expert at anything at a drop of a hat, would there be any rewards for it? I think you have the answer, even as I ask the question.

Got a couple of good buddies that used to live down in South Alabama. Their names were Bernard Haygood and Jimmy Glenn. One day they’re out riding through the South Alabama foothills and they got a little thirsty. Bernard was the driver. He’s also the athletic one, so he hopped out of the car, he ran around to this old abandoned pump there in the back of this old farmhouse. He grabbed the handle of the pump and he started to pump. Now let me say that when old Bernard grabbed that handle and started to pump you know, since it was August and brutally hot that day, he was anxious to get some water out. So he really got after it, he was just pumping away. And after a couple of minutes he said, “Jimmy, you better get that old bucket over there and dip some water out of the creek. We gonna have to prime this pump.” All that really means is that you gotta put something in here before you can expect to get anything out, here.

The pump is really saying in another way what we’ve said so many times, and that is that you gotta be and do, before you can have. Too many people stand in front of the stove of life, and they say, “Stove now, you give me some heat, and then I’ll put some wood in you.” So many times the employee goes to the employer and says, “Now give me a raise. And when you give me the raise I’ll start coming to work on time. I’ll start doing the things you really want me to do.” What they’re saying is, “Reward me now and then later I’ll perform.” That’s not the way it works. First you’ve gotta put something in before you can expect to get anything out.

Well old Bernard wanted to drink water. But the question is, just how much pumping are you willing to do in order to get that drink of water? And after a few minutes he said, “Jimmy I just don’t believe there’s any water down there.” And Jimmy said, “Yes it is, Bernard. You know in South Alabama the wells are deep.” We’re glad they are, aren’t we? Because you see, the deeper the well, the cleaner, the sweeter, the purer, the better tasting the water is. Isn’t that another lesson the pump can teach us?

Isn’t it true that those things which have value, I mean real value, are those things which we have to work for over a period of time? Yes, it’s absolutely true. But those things which have value, which have real value, are those things which we make that honest effort to acquire. We work at it and we do a little sweating in the process. And by now, old Bernard is really beginning to sweat. I mean, it’s August, it’s hot. Finally, he just threw up his hands and he said, “Jimmy, there just ain’t no water down there.”

Jimmy said, “Don’t stop Bernard, don’t stop. If you stop, that water’s gonna go all the way back down, and then you’re gonna have to start all over.” And isn’t that the story of life?

Isn’t it true that so many people lose out on a lot of effort they’ve expended in the past, because they don’t do just a little bit more?

Keep on PUMPING

Why perfection is unachievable – Benedict Cumberbatch

Transcript:

It’s really hard. It’s really, really hard. It’s a difficult job. You can never perfect what we do. There is no way. I’ve never met anyone who goes, “That’s perfection.” As an actor, and this isn’t mock humility, I think it just goes for all art forms really, that the whole point is perfection is unachievable.

So see lots, read lots, hear lots. Experience life as well and just keep observing. Really observing. Not just looking and seeing, but sort of observing. It’s that constant pursuit of the unobtainable which is kind of magic, really, and to keep us kind of motivated to try better. It’s the Beckett thing. Fail again, fail better.

Fail Better.

How the wisdom of a third grade dropout will change your life

Transcript:

The wisest person I ever met in my life, a third grade dropout. Wisest and dropout in the same sentence is rather oxymoronic, like jumbo shrimp. Mm-hmmm. Like Fun Run, ain’t nothing fun about it. Like Microsoft Works. You all don’t hear me.

I used to say like country music, but I’ve lived in Texas so long, I love country music now. I hunt. I fish. I have cowboy boots and cowboy… Y’all, I’m a blackneck redneck. Do you hear what I’m saying to you?

No longer oxymoronic for me to say country music, and it’s not oxymoronic for me to say third grade and dropout. That third grade dropout, the wisest person I ever met in my life, who taught me to combine knowledge and wisdom to make an impact, was my father. A simple cook, wisest man I ever met in my life, just a simple cook. Left school in the third grade to help out on the family farm, but just because he left school doesn’t mean his education stopped. Mark Twain once said: “I’ve never allowed my schooling to get in the way of my education.

My father taught himself how to read, taught himself how to write, decided in the midst of Jim Crowism, as America was breathing the last gasp of the Civil War, my father decided he was going to stand and be a man, not a black man, not a brown man, not a white man, but a man. He literally challenged himself to be the best that he could all the days of his life.

I have four degrees. My brother is a judge. We’re not the smartest ones in our family. It’s a third grade dropout daddy, a third grade dropout daddy who was quoting Michelangelo, saying to us, “Boys, I won’t have a problem if you aim high and miss, but I’m gonna have a real issue if you aim low and hit.

A country mother quoting Henry Ford, saying, “If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” I learned that from a third grade drop. Simple lessons, lessons like these, “Son, you’d rather be an hour early than a minute late.” We never knew what time it was at my house because the clocks were always ahead. My mother said, for nearly 30 years, my father left the house at 3:45 in the morning. One day, she asked him, “Why, Daddy?” He said, “Maybe one of my boys will catch me in the act of excellence.”

I wanna share two things with you. Aristotle said, “You are what you repeatedly do.” Therefore, excellence ought to be a habit, not an act. Don’t ever forget that. I know you’re tough, but always remember to be kind, always. Don’t ever forget that. Never embarrass Mama. Mm-hmmm. If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. If Daddy ain’t happy don’t nobody care but you know…

Next lesson, lesson from a cook over there in the galley. “Son, make sure your servant’s towel is bigger than your ego.” Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. You all might have a relative in mind you might want to send that to. Let me say it again. Ego is the anesthesia that deadens the pain of stupidity. Pride is the burden of a foolish person. John Wooden coached basketball at UCLA for a living, but his calling was to impact people, and with all those national championships, guess what he was found doing in the middle of the week? Going into the cupboard, grabbing a broom and sweeping his own gym floor. You want to make an impact? Find your broom. Every day of your life, you find your broom. You grow your influence that way. That way, you’re attracting people so that you can impact them.

Final lesson. “Son, if you’re going to do a job, do it right.” I’ve always been told how average I can be, always been criticized about being average, but I want to tell you something. I stand here before you, before all of these people, not listening to those words, but telling myself every single day, to shoot for the stars, to be the best that I can be. Good enough isn’t good enough if it can be better, and better isn’t good enough if it can be best. Let me close with a very personal story that I think will bring all this into focus. Wisdom will come to you in the unlikeliest of sources, a lot of times through failure. When you hit rock bottom, remember this. While you’re struggling, rock bottom can also be a great foundation on which to build and on which to grow. I’m not worried that you’ll be successful. I’m worried that you won’t fail from time to time. A person that gets up off the canvas and keeps growing, that’s the person that will continue to grow their influence.

Back in the ‘70s, to help me make this point, let me introduce you to someone. I met the finest woman I’d ever met in my life. Mm-hmm. Back in my day, we’d have called her a brick house. This woman was the finest woman I’d ever seen in my life. There was just one little problem. Back them, ladies didn’t like big old linemen. The Blind Side hadn’t come out yet. They liked quarterbacks and running backs. We’re at this dance and I find out her name is Trina Williams from Lompoc, California. We’re all dancing and we’re just excited. I decide in the middle of dancing with her that I would ask her for her phone number. Trina was the first… Trina was the only woman in college who gave me her real telephone number. The next day, we walked to Baskin & Robbins Ice Cream Parlour. My friends couldn’t believe it. This has been 40 years ago, and my friends still can’t believe it. We go on a second date and a third date and a fourth date. Mm-hmm. We drive from Chico to Vallejo so that she can meet my parents. My father meets her. My daddy. My hero. He meets her, pulls me to the side and says, “Is she psycho?” But anyway. We go together for a year, two years, three years, four years. By now, Trina’s a senior in college. I’m still a freshman, but I’m working some things out. I’m so glad I graduated in four terms, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan. Now, it’s time to propose, so I talk to her girlfriends, and it’s California. It’s in the ‘70s, so it has to be outside, have to have a candle and you have to have some chocolate. Listen, I’m from the hood. I had a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine. That’s what I had. She said, “Yes.” That was the key. I married the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen in my… You all ever been to a wedding and even before the wedding starts, you hear this? “How in the word?” And it was coming from my side of the family.

We get married. We have a few children. Our lives are great. One day, Trina finds a lump in her left breast. Breast cancer. Six years after that diagnosis, me and my two little boys walked up to Mommy’s casket. For two years, my heard didn’t beat. If it wasn’t for my faith in God, I wouldn’t be standing her today. If it wasn’t for those two little boys, there would have been no reason for which to go on. I was completely lost. That was rock bottom. You know what sustained me? The wisdom of a third grade dropout. The wisdom of a simple cook. We’re at the casket. I’d never seen my dad cry, but this time I saw my dad cry. That was his daughter. Trina was his daughter, not his daughter-in-law. I’m right behind my father about to see her for the last time one this Earth, and my father shared three words with me that changed my life right there at the casket. It would be the last lesson he would ever teach me.

He said, “Son, just stand.” You keep standing. No matter how rough the sea, you keep standing, and I’m not talking about just water. You keep standing. No matter what. You don’t give up. And as clearly as I’m talking to you today, these were some of her last words to me. She looked me in the eye and she said, “It doesn’t matter to me any longer how long I live. What matters to me most is how I live.” I ask you all one question, a question that I was asked all my life by a third grade dropout. How you living? How you living? Every day, ask yourself that question. How you living? Here’s what a cook would suggest you to live, this way, that you would not judge, that you would show up early, that you’d be kind, that you make sure that that servant’s towel is huge and used, that if you’re going to do something, you do it the right way. That cook would tell you this, that it’s never wrong to do the right thing, that how you do anything is how you do everything, and in that way you will grow your influence to make an impact. In that way, you will honor all those who have gone before you, who have invested in you. Look in those unlikeliest places for wisdom. Enhance your life every day by seeking that wisdom and asking yourself every night, “How am I living?”

May God richly bless you all.

MAKE AN IMPACT

Find Your Reason – Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe) Motivational Speech

Transcript:

This was my shot. I cried a lot. It was so embarrassing. I got fired from Frasier. The one everyone knew was going to be a hit, and it was. This time, it was really hard not to think that it wasn’t meant to be, my career as an actress. A couple of months later, I was almost completely out of money.

Then I got a call from a friend, the actor, Richard Kind, who said, and this is exactly how he sounds, “I’ve heard what happened. I don’t know how you get up in the morning. How do you even get out of bed, get dressed, walk out the door, and show your face?”

Yeah, I was getting up in the morning and leaving my apartment, so maybe I was coping better than I was expected to. That’s a good sign. And I understand that because the 20s, they are that time in your life when you’re really getting acquainted to self-doubt when there’s so much seemingly at stake.

So let me reassure you, it’s not supposed to be easy. You’re supposed to have moments of uncertainty about which path to take, because the 20s are full of crossroads. When one door closes, another door always opens. It really does. That’s what I would tell myself to keep those moments of doubts, only moments. And it worked. I kept going.

Then it all changed. After many auditions, I was the second person cast in the pilot called “Friends Like Us”, which would later be changed to “Friends”. Jim Burrows also directed this pilot and the first 10 episodes of friends. One day, the six of us were talking with Jimmy, exchanging the time I got fired stories, and Jimmy told them mine. “Well, she’s got the worst one of all. She got fired from Frasier. Well. It’s a good thing you got fired, or you wouldn’t have been on this show.”

He was right. It was a good thing I didn’t get Saturday Night Live. And that Romy and Michele, that that pilot didn’t work out. And every other disappointment that happened. They were actually more like guideposts that kept me on my path. Oh, and after I got fired from Frasier, I went to a birthday party and, and feeling like I had nothing at all to lose, I flirted with a guy who was way out of my league. We dated and on Thursday, Michel and I will have been married for 15 years, and we’ll celebrate with our remarkable 12-year-old son. So, thank God I got fired.

There is a reason for everything. FIND YOUR REASON