Some of the greatest minds of our time and beyond have given us excellent words of wisdom, encouragement and thought-provoking ideas. Today, we’ll be sharing 10 inspiring quotes from 10 inspiring people. We are going to break down some of those ideas and understand why they were so impactful then and now.
10 Inspiring Quotes From 10 Inspiring People
“Whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.”
The first of today’s inspiring quotes comes from Charlotte Whitton. She was a Canadian writer and a vocal feminist. Her words still ring true today as women struggle to find a level playing field. Whitton became the first female Mayor of Ottawa in 1951 and worked to make huge strides for women. Whitton was somewhat of a walking contradiction, as she was both an advocate for women’s rights whilst simultaneously criticising them for choosing to leave their husbands and family to go to work. A truly complex but interesting character, Charlotte Whitton nevertheless gave a quote to remember.
Evelyn Beatrice Hall
“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Often misattributed to Voltaire, this phrase was first coined in the 1906 book The Friends of Voltaire. This is a powerful phrase which encapsulates the very essence of freedom of speech. A British writer, Hall wrote under the pseudonym S G Tallentyre and eloquently wrote the quote which has become the foundation of the modern free speech movement.
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back at you.”
The next of our inspiring quotes is a truly profound expression that examines the how far man can go for the ‘right cause’. There is a suggestion that the abyss eventually becomes a mirror for one’s own self. Nietzsche was a German philosopher who encouraged people to look for meaning in their lives. Therefore, the quote itself is another example of his attempts to steer his followers towards what he believed was the right path.
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
A beautiful quote from a wonderful writer expressing our need to find joy whatever you do. Whitman lived through the unrest of the civil war and saw the horrors of the battlefield when he went searching for his brother. His experience led him to write poems such as O Captain! My Captain! which featured in anthologies of the time. This quote really emphasises a longing to find happiness in the everyday.
“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”
Victor Hugo was a French poet and novelist during the Romantic movement. He grew up during a time of political turmoil in France and Hugo would move around often for his father’s job in the army. He spent his childhood writing eloquently about King and faith, however, in his later years and leading up to the revolution he began to rebel against traditional royalty and championed free-thinking and Republicanism instead. Hugo wrote the novel Les Misérables, which was later adapted into an award-winning musical. We can see now why the words above meant so much to Hugo as his career progressed and he became increasingly politically orientated.
“History is written by the victors.”
Another of today’s inspiring quotes is from another timeless character: Churchill saw Britain through World War Two with a sense of pride and courage. He was a fierce leader who was uncompromising in his approach to the country he served. This quote is particularly interesting as it argues that history is not necessarily based on facts. Rather, it preserves the stories of the winners.
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
The civil rights movement of the 20th Century saw vital progress in the fight for racial equality. After the abolition of slavery, many argued that the Jim Crow era in America was just a new form of enslavement. The deep south saw segregation and continuous attempts to isolate and alienate black Americans. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, as well as countless others, worked tirelessly to secure equal rights for black people in America.
Through peaceful protests and marches, King spoke words of love and equality and recognised in this quote that a threat to anyone’s freedom is a threat to everyone’s. Assassinated in 1968, King became a martyr for the cause and his words still resonate today as the fight for racial equality continues all over the world. As anti-racism protests continue across the USA, we should all remember Martin Luther King’s words.
Emily Wilding Davison
“The true militant suffragette is an epitome of the determination of women to possess their own souls.”
The next of our inspiring quotes comes from Emily Davison, an educated middle-class woman who dedicated her life to the women’s the suffrage movement. She was a militant suffragette, often arrested for public disturbances. She would then go on hunger strike in prison as a form of protest. However, she did not believe that this had made enough waves in parliament to implement change. The events of the Epsom Derby went down in history as the greatest sacrifice that Emily could have given to the cause. In the race of June 1913, the king’s horse trampled Davison after she ran out onto the track. She later died of her injuries. However, her intentions remain unclear; many believe that she was attempting to pin the suffragette colours on the king’s horse. This quote is the essence of Davison’s commitments to the women’s suffrage cause.
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
This quote from Hamlet holds so much power. It forces one to step back from social norms and really consider what is concrete and what is subjective. Shakespeare’s plays were able to bring people together from every section of society in a riotous and jovial event. Shakespeare is also responsible for over introducing 400 original words to the English language as well as countless phrases that we still use today.
“Sometimes, it falls upon a generation to be great. You can be that great generation.”
The last of our inspiring quotes comes from a 2005 speech by Nelson Mandela. Mandela dedicated his life to anti-apartheid activism, spending 27 years in prison for conspiring to overthrow the state. After his release, he became president of South Africa in 1994. He encouraged equal rights and an end to the long history of racism in the country. The quote holds so much power knowing everything that Mandela fought for. It calls to a generation to stand up and fight for what is right.
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