“You have to dream in a wholesome way, not just dream about yourself, but dream about what’s best for all.”
In his children’s book published this month, Sean Hepburn Ferrer attributes this powerful quote to be one of the most important childhood lessons that he learned from his famous mother, Audrey Hepburn -- legendary British actor of the Golden Age (“Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “Roman Holiday”) and humanitarian who received the UNICEF Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992. Titled, “Little Audrey’s Daydream,” Ferrer wrote the book with his wife Karin with the hope that children who read it, “…will learn to stay positive, even in difficult moments, and to help others.” In her youth, Hepburn suffered from malnutrition during the Dutch famine of World War II. While it was a different kind of childhood hardship, Ferrer feels that it parallels with what children today are experiencing with Covid.
It’s no wonder Audrey Hepburn’s mind was filled with words of wisdom born from her personal experiences. While I have always admired her humility, poise, and elegance, I was not an avid follower of the icon. But I often gravitate to her quotes whenever I search the Internet for words of inspiration. Her simple words have impact.
Then, on another story assignment, I walk onto the grounds of a renovated 19th century hotel property on the plateau of Mount Burgenstock in Switzerland. There, on the expansive grounds of the Burgenstock Resort, sits the tiny chapel where Hepburn and Mel Ferrer married in 1954. With all the grandness of the resort’s 21st century update, I couldn’t take my eyes off the white chapel dwarfed even more by the old forest behind it.
On the morning of my departure, I woke early for a sunrise stroll on the narrow Cliff Walk behind the chapel -- a rare chance to follow in Hepburn’s footsteps.
More Hepburn quotes:
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are not alone.”
“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”
“I may not always be offered work, but I’ll always have my family.”
“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come…The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”
“Since the world has existed, there has been injustice. But it is one world, the more so as it becomes smaller, more accessible. There is just no question that there is more obligation that those who have should give to those who have nothing.”
Washing Hands + Wearing a Mask + Social Distancing = Saving Lives