Quotes are inspirational because they usually come from people who have done great things. The operative word here is done, since words hold more weight if they reflect actual accomplishments. Quotes often represent the principles people stand for or stood for.
“If we don’t fight hard enough for the things we stand for, at some point we have to recognize that we don’t really stand for them.” —Paul Wellstone, United States Senator, 1944–2002
I am a big keeper of quotes—from books I have read, songs I have heard, films I have seen, and conversations I have had with people. I even save fortunes from the fortune cookies I have eaten at lunch.
“The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.” —Fortune from a fortune cookie, now in my wallet
“When Dr. King said segregation was wrong, John felt as though Dr. King were speaking directly to him, telling him it was time to get in the way. It was time to turn things upside down in order to set them right side up.” —From John Lewis in the Lead
In the office we have a dry erase board (pictured above) that my co-worker Lucy periodically freshens up with quotes about books and reading. Good quotes capture a time and place when someone’s conviction resulted in something groundbreaking. Bad quotes also stick in people’s memories like crazy glue. History can be especially unkind to people who were on the wrong or unpopular side of big issues. But people will always say what they think; they will say what is on their minds for all that it is worth.
“Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.”—Grover Cleveland, United States President, 1905
Do you have any favorite quotes? I’d love to hear them!