Favorite Quotes

This is a place for sharing some quotes that have inspired me.  I hope you find them inspiring for your life as well!  I’ve also put the situation where I found these quotes helpful.


A few thoughts from Pamela: “Learn: tough things often shape you, and pushing through and following your dreams will be worth it. Healing, forgiveness, and learning are part of life. Don’t ever let egos get in your way as you climb to higher positions.”


Believe the best and see the best, and you will soon experience the best.  -Grey T. Full


“When you go to a country, you must learn how to say two things: how to ask for food, and to tell a woman that you love her. Of these the second is more important, for if you tell a woman you love her, she will certainly feed you.”

It’s true!    I love to do this, and to take care of people. 🙂

Louis L’Amour was an American author. He is best known for his Western fiction novels, though he also wrote historical fiction, science fiction, nonfiction, poetry and short-story collections.  He was born Louis Dearborn LaMoore on March 22, 1908, the last of seven children.  He grew up in Jamestown, North Dakota, a medium-sized farming community.  As he grew older, he traveled throughout the United States and abroad, in various positions including as a mine assessment worker, a professional boxer and a merchant seaman.

In the 1930s, Louis and his family settled in Oklahoma, and Louis turned his focus to writing.  He began to have success with short stories in the late ‘30s and ‘40s, beginning to sell novels in the 1950s.  Louis also served in the United States Army during World War II.  Louis ultimately wrote 89 novels and more than 250 short stories.


“… India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages… we have hardly ever paused to inquire if these folks get sufficient to eat and clothe themselves with.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader during the Indian Independence movement.  He preached resistance through non-violence and mass civil disobedience. He led the Indian National Congress and advocated for the end of poverty and for women’s rights.


I teach for the fire, the moment of ignition, the spark,

the lightbulb of cognition going on in the dark over an adoloscent’s head.

O beautiful incandescence, dazzling the dead air all around the room; he tries

and he tries and he tries and BOOM, he gets it and you can see it in his eyes!

I teach for that moment…

Taylor Mali is a slam poet who uses his poetry to advocate for teachers.  He was a teacher himself for nine years and a former president of Slam Poetry, Inc.  He is the author of two books of poetry, The Last Time As We Are and What Learning Leaves.  Through his “New Teacher Project,” he has created a list of 1,000 people he inspired to become teachers through his poetry and speaking.  He is currently a full-time poet and speaker.


In one of the stars I shall be living

In one of them I shall be laughing…

And so it will be as if all the stars are laughing

when you look at the sky at night.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944) was a French writer and aviator.  A commercial pilot prior to World War II, he flew with the French Air Force until France’s armistice with Germany in 1940.  He then went to the United States to encourage the country to enter the war.  During this time, he wrote three of his most successful works, including The Little Prince, a novella about an aviator who lands in the desert and means a young boy who claims to come from a small planet among the stars.  Saint-Exupéry joined the Free French Air Force in North Africa in 1943, and disappeared in a reconnaisance mission over the Mediterranean in 1944.


“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) was an Irish writer in Victorian London.  He is known for his plays, especially The Importance of Being Earnest, and his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as his counter-cultural lifestyle.


“The idea was to create an empathetic relation to a place we’ve never been.  To think about how there’s still ignorance, due to the difference between second-hand and first-hand experience.” – Jon Rubin

Jon Rubin, John Pena, and Dawn Welenski are artists who created Conflict Kitchen, a take-out restaurant in Pittsburgh which serves food from countries America is currently in conflict with.  They focus on a new culture every four months, in an effort to spread understanding and increase discussion.  They have offered Afghan, Venezuelan and Iranian foods, with plans to do North Korean and Cuban cuisine.


“Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.” – Vince Lombardi

Vince Lombardi was a legendary football coach, who led his team to five NFL Championships.  He coached for Fordham University, Westpoint, the New York Giants, the Washington Redskins and, most famously, the Green Bay Packers.  He was an early proponent of equal rights during the era of the Civil Rights Movement.  He has sometimes been described as the greatest coach in football history.


“Serve others. The unfailing recipe for happiness and success is to want the good of others. Happiness and success is when I see others happy. Happiness is a shared thing.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a Christian cleric known for his work for human rights.  Active in South Africa, he was an important opponent of apartheid.  Other causes he has worked on include fighting AIDs, homophobia, tuberculosis, racism and poverty.  Nelson Mandela described him as “the voice of the voiceless.”  Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.


“If I can say anything to you, it is to invite you to look deeply and recognize the real enemy. The enemy is not a person. That enemy is a way of thinking that has brought a lot of suffering for everyone.”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and Zen master.  He is a well-known poet, writer and peace activist.  A native of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War he helped found the “engaged Buddhism” movement, combining the contemplative practice of the monastery with active ministry to victims of the conflict.  He founded the School of Youth Social Service, a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and a Vietnamese peace activist magazine.

During a trip to the United States, Thich Nhat Hanh persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War; King subsequently nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Thich Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of more than 85 books on mindfulness and peace.  He founded the Plum Village community in France, a Buddhist community in exile.   He continues to live and work at the Plum Village, and leads retreats worldwide on “the art of mindful living.”


“No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint.  Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) was an American theologian and public speaker.  He was influential in the American approach to international relations, and has had influential on key figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Jimmy Carter, Madeleine Albright and Barack Obama.


“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” – Seneca

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 BC – 65 AD) was a Roman philosopher and writer.  He was the tutor and advisor to Emperor Nero.  Seneca is best known for his writings on Stoic philosophy and for his plays.


Two lovely quotes from Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur:

“There is no greater truth than love.

“Truth without love has no decency; it’s just brutality.  On the other hand, love without truth has no character, it’s just hypocrisy.”

Twelve Ordinary Men explores the lives of the twelve Apostles of Christ, looking at the ordinary humans who Jesus shaped to carry on his work.  MacArthur examines the principles and lessons we can take from Jesus’ teaching of the Apostles which can be applied to our own lives today.


“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior. Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader during the Indian Independence movement.  He preached resistance through non-violence and mass civil disobedience. He led the Indian National Congress and advocated for the end of poverty and for women’s rights.


Sojourner Truth on the rights of women…

“Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.”

Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was born into slavery in New York.  She escaped in 1826, and became an activist for abolitionism, and for women’s rights.  She was one of the first black women to defeat a white man in court, over custody of her son, who was still in slavery.  Truth delivered her famous speech “Ain’t I a Woman” at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851.


“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands.  You need to be able to throw something back.”  – Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou is an American poet, author and actress, whose work has often addressed issues of race and civil rights.  One of her best-known writings is her autobiographical book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.


“One person with a belief is equal to a force of 99 who have only interest.” – John Stuart Mill

John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher of the 1800s, an advocate of Utilitarianism.  Two of his best-known writings are On Liberty and Utilitarianism.


“If you really want to tackle a problem as poverty, you had better address the root causes; otherwise, anything you do will just be a band-aid.” —Homi Kharas

Homi Kharas is a Senior Fellow at the Wolfensohn Center for Development, at Brookings Institution.  He is also a co-author of The California Consensus, an article discussing private aid’s ability to address global poverty.


This is a great world to be in when our giving is tied to a conscious awareness and deep feeling for others… healing as Siegfried Finsler says:

“Every financial transaction contains the rudiments of social healing. When we wake up to this and begin to pour our spiritual capacities and values into every transaction, the world will change for the better…We want to bring the emerging human consciousness into a responsible relationship with money and to see how we can use it to change the way the world works with money.” — Siegfried Finser, Money Can Heal

Siegfried Finser is a former Waldorf schoolteacher and has consulted with major corporations.  He is a founder of RSF Social Finance (Rudolf Steiner Foundation) and remains on the Board of Trustees.  He frequently lectures on money and healing.


“Whether a person is a religious believer does not matter much.  Far more important is that they be a good human being.”  — the Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is the leader of Tibetan Buddhism.  The current Dalai Lama is the 14th, in a line reaching back to the 14th century.  He is known as an advocate for the welfare of Tibetans, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.  He travels extensively, speaking on Buddhism, Tibet, and the importance of compassion.


“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” – David Hawkins

Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.


“Make a gift of your life and lift all mankind by being kind, considerate, forgiving, and compassionate at all times, in all places, and under all conditions, with everyone as well as yourself. This is the greatest gift anyone can give.” – David Hawkins


“One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present.   In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present.  When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.” – Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

One of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans, Stephen Covey is an internationally recognized consultant and author who has dedicated his life to advocating the importance of self-guidance in controlling our personal destiny.


“Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Norman Vincent Peale was a Methodist minister who authored more than 40 books, including his most popular, The Power of Positive Thinking.  He was a pioneer in bringing together psychology and spirituality.


“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” – Alexander Haig

Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan.


A famine was on in the land and a beggar on a street corner reached out to Tolstoy, who was passing by. Russia’s great man stopped, searched for a coin but found none. With genuine sorrow, he said: “Don’t be angry with me, my brother. I have nothing with me.”

The beggar’s face lit up as he replied, “But you called me brother–that is a great gift.”


“A selfless person is one who is more concerned about the happiness and well-being of another than about his or her own convenience or comfort, one who is willing to serve another when it is neither sought for nor appreciated, or one who is willing to serve even those whom he or she dislikes. A selfless person displays a willingness to sacrifice, a willingness to purge from his or her mind and heart personal wants, and needs, and feelings. Instead of reaching for and requiring praise and recognition for himself, or gratification of his or her own wants, the selfless person will meet these very human needs for others. ” – H. Burke Peterson

H. Burke Peterson is an authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the author of A Glimpse of Glory.


“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” – Buddha

The Buddha was a spiritual leader in Ancient India. Usually symbolized as the “awakened one” or “enlightened one,” he is regarded as a prophet in religions such as Hinduism and the Bahá’í Faith.


“I vow to understand living beings…to cultivate compassion and loving kindness, and to practice joy and equanimity.” – Thich Nhat Hahn

Thich Nhat Hahn is a Buddhist monk and Zen master, and a well-known poet, writer and peace activist.  He is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and the author of more than 85 books on mindfulness and peace.  A native of Vietnam, he founded the Plum Village community in France, where he continues to live and work.


This is a handwritten quote I carried around in my early 20s when I was trying to find my purpose in life.  I had switched jobs several times and had several rough years out of college.  This quote kept me going, not settling, and trying to find my unique way to contribute in the world.

George Bernard Shaw was a novelist and playwright who was awarded the Noble Prize for Literature in 1925.


“With malice toward none, with charity for all…let us…achieve and cherish a lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations.” – Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address

Abraham Lincoln served as the 16th President of the United States, during the Civil War.  He was instrumental in ending slavery and is admired for his commitment to national unity, equal rights, liberty, and democracy in America.


“Let all the world be my friend!” – The Vedas, translated by Raimundo Panniker

The Vedas is a collection of  hymns, poems, and ceremonies that is part of the most ancient and sacred literature of Hinduism.


This quote I read the other day at our team meeting. Perfection is not what we are seeking; we all make mistakes. We want our creative best, and that means each person contributes uniquely.   We’re on a quest for excellence!

Vince Lombardi was a legendary football coach, who led his team to five NFL Championships.


“Truth without Love is Brutality; Love without Truth is Hypocrisy.” – Warren Wiersbe

Warren Wiersbe is an American Pastor and prolific writer of Christian literature who has ministered in churches and conferences throughout the United States, Europe, and Latin America.


“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life – happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.” – Gen Peyton C. March

Gen. Peyton C. March was an American soldier and Army of Chief Staff who was honorably recognized with such awards as WWI Victory and Army Distinguished service medals.


“A person is fully human “when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.  Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.” – G.K. Chesterson

G.K. Chesterson was a profound English writer of the 20th century who contributed across philosophy and poetry, as well as fiction.  Two of his best known works are Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. He also wrote a weekly column in The London Illustrated News for thirty years.  He was known for his incredible intellect, desire to decrease political divisions, and strong reasoning skills.


“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Howard Thurman was an influential African American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader.


“Love…is an outpouring of everything good in you–of kindness, and consideration and respect–not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable…[This] can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had…And don’t worry about losing.  If it is right, it happens–the main thing is not to hurry.  Nothing good gets away.”  – John Steinbeck, to his son Thom

John Steinbeck (1902-1968) was a Nobel Prize-winning author, whose most famous works include The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men.  Steinbeck’s works often address social issues such as ecology, cultural standards and the condition of laborers.  He had two sons, Thom and John, with his wife Gwyn.


“Better to make a few mistakes being natural than to do everything out of a feeling of worry.”
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Dr. Benjamin Spock, 1946

Dr. Spock was an influential writer on childrearing, who advocated for increased flexibility and affection in the treatment of infants and children.  He published 13 books.  He was also an Olympic gold medalist in rowing, and a peace advocate.  Dr. Spock had two children.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s