Eleanor Roosevelt (184-1962)

“Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”

“We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”

“The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

“We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face… we must do that which we think we cannot.”

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”

“I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.”

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

“Friends, you and me… you brought another friend… and then there were three… we started our group… our circle of friends… and like that circle… there is no beginning or end.”

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself.”

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

“Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

“Understanding is a two-way street.”

“Friendship with oneself is all important because without it one cannot be friends with anybody else in the world.”

“The giving of love is an education in itself.”

“I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”

“If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”

“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiousity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

“When you know to laugh and when to look upon things as too absurd to take seriously, the other person is ashamed to carry through even if he was serious about it.”

“It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.”

“Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.”

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”

“We have to face the fact that either all of us are going to die together or we are going to learn to live together and if we are to live together we have to talk.”

“Women are like teabags. We don’t know our true strength until we are in hot water!”

“What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”

“What one has to do usually can be done.”

“I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.”

“I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”

“Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little.”

“You must do the things you think you cannot do.”

“A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”

“For it isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work for it.”

“Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your own child’s.”

“The only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are.”

“A mature person is one who is does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably.”

“When life is too easy for us, we must beware or we may not be ready to meet the blows which sooner or later come to everyone, rich or poor.”

“I cannot believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war and no one will win the next.”

“I could not, at any age, be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on.”

“It is not more vacation we need – it is more vocation.”

“Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

“I could never say in the morning, “I have a headache and cannot do thus and so”. Headache or no headache, thus and so had to be done.”

“If we want a free and peaceful world, if we want to make the deserts bloom and man grow to greater dignity as a human being – we can do it.”

“All human beings have failings, all human beings have needs and temptations and stresses. Men and women who live together through long years get to know one another’s failings; but they also come to know what is worthy of respect and admiration in those they live with and in themselves. If at the end one can say, This man used to the limit the powers that God granted him; he was worthy of love and respect and of the sacrifices of many people, made in order that he might achieve what he deemed to be his task, then that life has been lived well and there are no regrets.”

“I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.”

“I used to tell my husband that, if he could make me ‘understand’ something, it would be clear to all the other people in the country.”

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes … and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

“Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.”

“You can’t move so fast that you try to change the mores faster than people can accept it. That doesn’t mean you do nothing, but it means that you do the things that need to be done according to priority.”

“There are practical little things in housekeeping which no man really understands.”

“When all is said and done, and statesmen discuss the future of the world, the fact remains that people fight these wars.”

“Every woman who fails in a public position confirms this, but every woman who succeeds creates confidence.”

“Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.”

“The motivating force of the theory of a Democratic way of life is still a belief that as individuals we live cooperatively, and, to the best of our ability, serve the community in which we live, and that our own success, to be real, must contribute.”

“Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”

“So much attention is paid to the aggressive sins, such as violence and cruelty and greed with all their tragic effects, that too little attention is paid to the passive sins, such as apathy and laziness, which in the long run can have a more devastating effect.”

“We must be willing to learn the lesson that cooperation may imply compromise, but if it brings a world advance it is a gain for each individual nation.”

“Anyone who knows history, particularly the history of Europe, will, I think, recognize that the domination of education or of government by any one particular religious faith is never a happy arrangement for the people.”

“Actors are one family over the entire world.”

“It is neither unusual nor new for me to have Negro friends, nor is it unusual for me to have found my friends among all races and religions of people.”

“Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.”

“It was a wife’s duty to be interested in whatever interested her husband, whether it was politics, books, or a particular dish for dinner.”

“The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.”

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art”

“I think if the people of this country can be reached with the truth, their judgment will be in favor of the many, as against the privileged few”

“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

“Character building begins in our infancy, and continues until death.”

“As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.”

“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”

“Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.”

“Perhaps in His wisdom the Almighty is trying to show us that a leader may chart the way, may point out the road to lasting peace, but that many leaders and many peoples must do the building.”

“All of life is a constant education.”

“Old age has deformities enough of its own. It should never add to them the deformity of vice.”

“What is to give light must endure the burning.”

“Spiritual leadership should remain spiritual leadership and the temporal power should not become too important in any church.”

“We women are callow fledglings as compared with the wise old birds who manipulate the political machinery, and we still hesitate to believe that a woman can fill certain positions in public life as competently and adequately as a man.”

“Too often the great decisions are originated and given form in bodies made up wholly of men, or so completely dominated by them that whatever of special value women have to offer is shunted aside without expression.”

“When you build a memorial, you build it not because the person wanted it, but for the future — for generations who didn’t know the man and didn’t know the era in which he lived,”

“We will never have peace without friendship around the world.”

“In a democratic society we must live cooperatively, and serve the community in which we live, to the best of our ability. For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.”

“Change means the unknown.”

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