Inspirational Quotes


Sometimes we just need to read (or hear) the inspirational words of others to help us stay our course, to remind us of the course of history in making changes. These quotes are sprinkled throughout this Web site, but we gather them here (in no particular order) just for the times when you need and want to gather energy and feel the power of others' words of wisdom.

We invite you to help us build this collection by sending us words that inspire you. Use the comment form at the bottom of the page.


The price of the democratic way of life is a growing appreciation of people's differences, not merely as tolerable, but as the essence of a rich and rewarding human experience. Jerome Nathanson

Just as a child is born without fear, so is it born without prejudice. Prejudice, like fear, is acquired. Marie Kililea

As surely as night follows day our country will fail in its democracy because of race prejudice unless we root it out. We cannot grow in strength and leadership for democracy so long as we carry deep in our being that fatal fault. Pearl S. Buck

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Fredrick Douglas

Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival. Rene Dubos

Men hate each other because they fear each other, and they fear each other because they don't know each other, and they don't know each other because they are often separated from each other. Martin Luther King Jr.

Our every action has a universal dimension, a potential impact on others' happiness. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope ... those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. Robert F. Kennedy

I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls. W. E. B. Du Bois

We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color. Maya Angelou

We need every human gift and cannot afford to neglect any gift because of artificial barriers of sex or race or class or national origin. Margaret Mead

The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression. W. E. B. De Bois

Can you imagine if this country were not so afflicted with racism? Can you imagine what it would be like if the vitality, humor and resilience of the black American were infused throughout this country? Maya Angelou

I don't know what the future may hold, but I know who holds the future. Ralph Abernathy

To be free you must afford freedom to your neighbor, regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin, and that sometimes, for some, is very difficult. Helen Gahagan Douglas

Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve. Martin Luther King Jr.

We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community ... Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own. Cesar Chavez

In our concern for others, we worry less about ourselves. His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

The love of democracy is that of equality. Charles de Montesquieu

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place. Margaret Mead

Let your mind start a journey thru a strange new world. Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before. Let your soul take you where you long to be ...Close your eyes let your spirit start to soar, and you'll live as you've never lived before. Erich Fromm

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. Lao Tzu

Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mohandas Gandhi

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. Martin Luther King Jr.

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?' But, conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right. Martin Luther King Jr.

I have freed hundreds of slaves and I would have freed thousands more if only they had known they were slaves. Harriet Tubman

You'd better name yourself, because, if you don't others will do it for you. Audre Lorde

Do one thing everyday that scares you. Those small things that make us uncomfortable help us build courage to do the work we do. Eleanor Roosevelt

No man has the right in America to treat any other man tolerantly, for tolerance is the assumption of superiority. Wendell Willkie

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. If you have come here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together. Lilla Watson

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny ... whatever affects one ... directly affects all indirectly. Martin Luther King Jr.