Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers) often spoke a version of these words at College Commencement addresses. He would give all the graduates a silent gift of one minute to think about the idea shared below. Give yourself the gift of one minute after you read his lovely and touching idea … and to my Mom I say thank you and I love you.

Beside my chair in my office is a framed piece of calligraphy with a sentence from Saint Exupery’s book, “The Little Prince” (“Le Petit Prince”). It reads: “l’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.” (what is essential is invisible to the eye.) I feel the closer we get to knowing and living the truth of that sentence, the closer we get to wisdom.

What is essential about you that is invisible to the eye? And who are those who have helped you become who you are today?

Anyone who has ever graduated from a college, anyone who has ever been able to sustain a good work has had at least one person – and often many – who believed in him or her. We just don’t get to be competent human beings without many different investments from others.

In fact, from the time you were very little, you’ve had people who have smiled you into smiling, people who have talked you into talking, sung you into singing, loved you into loving. So, on this extra special day, let’s take some time to think of those extra special people. Some of them may be right here, some may be far away. Some may even be in heaven. No matter where they are, deep down you know they’ve always wanted what was best for you. They’ve always cared about you beyond measure and have encouraged you to be true to the best within you. Let’s just take a minute of silence to think about those people now.