hellen-keller-quote

Helen Keller Quotes

Born Helen Adams Keller in 1880 in Alabama, Helen Keller was a prominent author, activist, and disability rights advocate. At the age of 19 months, she contracted an illness that left her deaf and blind from this early age.

Her parents asked a Baltimore-based physician, J. Julian Chisolm, for advice, after her mother had been inspired by the story of another deaf and blind woman, Laura Bridgman, featured in Charles Dickens’ American Notes.

Chisolm referred them to Alexander Graham Bell, then involved in helping deaf children. At his insistence, the Kellers contacted the Perkins Institute for the Blind where Bridgman had been educated. A 20-year-old alumna of the school, Anne Sullivan, who was visually impaired, was asked to start teaching Helen.

This marked the beginning of a 50-year companionship until Sullivan’s death. Sullivan taught Helen to communicate with signs which allowed her to later enrol into Radcliffe College at Harvard University in 1900. Helen was the first deaf-blind person to obtain a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard. Helen also learnt how to speak and ‘hear’ by feeling the lips and throat of the speaker with her fingers (the so-called ‘Tadoma’ method).

She also learnt how to experience the vibrations of music. Her literary talent was first discovered by the Austrian philosopher Wilhelm Jerusalem with whom she maintained correspondence. She travelled extensively all over the world to advocate for disability rights and to raise awareness on the deaf and blind. She was a well-known suffragist, pacifist, and civil rights advocate.

In 1915, she founded the Helen Keller Foundation engaged in researching vision, health, and nutrition. She was friends with many famous figures, such as Alexander Graham Bell, Charlie Chaplin, and Mark Twain. She also never hid her socialist political affiliation and willingness to fight for the working class. She wrote 12 books and many articles. She died in 1968 at the age of 87.

She continues to be credited for advancing various causes, such as women’s rights, the rights of people with disabilities, labour rights, and for acting as a voice of the blind-deaf population. She remains an inspiration to people with disabilities, showing them what can be achieved despite or perhaps because of their disability. Both her writings and lectures have helped raise awareness on issues faced by individuals with disabilities and other social groups.

Did you know:

  • that she was a prominent campaigner not only for the rights of the deaf and blind but also for women’s suffrage, labour rights, and world peace;
  • that her father had served as a captain in the Confederate army and her paternal grandfather has been a Confederate general;
  • that her family had once belonged to the slaveholding elite before the war but lost that status afterwards;
  • that her lineage was traced to a Swiss-native, Casper Keller, and that one of her Swiss ancestors had been one of the first teachers of the deaf in Zurich, Switzerland;
  • that she learnt how to communicate thanks to her instructor Anne Sullivan, who had drawn words on her hand and poured water over it to help her learn the word ‘water’;
  • that she donated money to the NAACP in 1916 and helped found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920;
  • that she was an active member of the Socialist Party who advocated for labour rights between 1909 and 1921;
  • that she wrote her first piece of writing at the age of 11 (The Frost King);
  • that she visited 35 countries between 1946 and 1957;
  • that she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 by US President Lyndon B. Johnson;
  • that she was featured in various films, such as the Academy Award-winning documentary, Hellen Keller in Her Story;
  • that she was posthumously honoured by the state of Alabama with a state quarter in 2003;
  • that streets have been named after her in several cities of the world (such as Zurich and Lisbon);
  • that she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1973?

Most Inspiring Helen Keller Quotes

“Life is a succession of lessons whic
must be lived to be understood.”-Helen Keller

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered
world shall emerge into the light.” -Helen Keller

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement
“Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”-Helen Keller

“We can do anything we want
to if we stick to it long enough.”-Helen Keller

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better
than walking alone in the light.”-Helen Keller

“I am only one, but, still, I am one
“I cannot do everything,
but, still, I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”-Helen Keller

“Your success and happiness lie in you
“Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall
form an invincible host against difficulties.”-Helen Keller

“No one has a right to consume
happiness without producing it.”-Helen Keller

“The best and most beautiful things in the world
cannot be seen or even touched
they must be felt with the heart.”-Helen Keller

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet
“Only through experience of trial and suffering
can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired
and success achieved.”-Helen Keller

“Never bend your head.”Always hold it high
“Look the world straight in the eye.”-Helen Keller

“All the world is full of suffering
“It is also full of overcoming.”-Helen Keller

“When one door closes, another opens
“But we often look so regretfully upon the closed doo
that we don’t see the one that has opened for us.”-Helen Keller

I long to accomplish a great and noble task,
but it is my chief duty to accomplish small
tasks as if they were great and noble. -Helen Keller

“Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see a shadow.”-Helen Keller

“The only thing worse than
being blind is having sight but no vision.”-Helen Keller

“Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who
are more fortunate than we are,
we should compare it with the lot
of the great majority of our fellow men
“It then appears that we are among the privileged.”-Helen Keller

“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it,
we can never do anything wise in this world.”-Helen Keller

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what
constitutes true happiness
“It is not attained through self-gratification
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”-Helen Keller

“Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind;
it requires the same effort of the brain that
it takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.”-Helen Keller

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land,
or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.”-Helen Keller

“We could never learn to be brave and patient
if there were only joy in the world.”-Helen Keller

“While they were saying among
themselves it cannot be done, it was done.”-Helen Keller

“There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors,
and no slave who has not had a king among his.”-Helen Keller

“Knowledge is love and light and vision.”-Helen Keller

“People do not like to think
“If one thinks, one must reach conclusions
“Conclusions are not always pleasant.”-Helen Keller

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run
than outright exposure
“The fearful are caught
as often as the bold.”-Helen Keller

Helen Keller quotes to broaden your thoughts

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them;
but do not let them master you.
Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight.” ― Helen Keller

“Faith is the strength by which a shattered world
shall emerge into the light.” -Helen Keller

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.” ― Helen Keller

“We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” ― Helen Keller

“There is no better way to thank God
for your sight than by giving a helping hand
to someone in the dark.” ― Helen Keller

“Unless we can help the world where we are,
we could not help it if we were somewhere else.” ― Helen Keller

“Toleration is the greatest gift of the mind;
it requires the same effort of the brain that it
takes to balance oneself on a bicycle.” ― Helen Keller

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.” -Helen Keller

“No one has the right to consume happiness without producing it.” -Helen Keller

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled
with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare,
social justice can never be attained.” -Helen Keller

“Walking with a friend in the dark is better
than walking alone in the light.” -Helen Keller

“What a blind person needs is not a teacher
but another self.” -Helen Keller

“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it,
we can never do anything wise in this world.” -Helen Keller

Helen Keller quotes to inspire you

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” -Helen Keller

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope.” -Helen Keller

“Alone we can do so little;
together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller

“I do not want the peace that passeth understanding.
I want the understanding which bringeth peace.” -Helen Keller

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn,
whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” -Helen Keller

“When we do the best we can,
we never know what miracle is wrought in our life,
or in the life of another.” -Helen Keller

“You cannot touch love but you can feel the sweetness
it pours into everything.” -Helen Keller

“One can never consent to creep when
one feels an impulse to soar.” -Helen Keller

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the eye.” -Helen Keller

“I thank God for my handicaps for, through them,
I have found myself, my work, and my God.” -Helen Keller

“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” ― Helen Keller

“Meanwhile the desire to express myself grew.
The few signs I used became less and less adequate,
and my failures to make myself understood were invariably
followed by outbursts of passion.” -Helen Keller

“All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” -Helen Keller

“The bulk of the world’s knowledge
is an imaginary construction.” -Helen Keller

Helen Keller quotes about vision

“The only thing worse than being blind
is having sight but no vision.” –Helen Keller

“Knowledge is love and light and vision.” –Helen Keller

“When you lose your vision, you lose contact with things.
When you lose your hearing, you lose contact with people.” –Helen Keller

“Of all the senses, sight must
be the most delightful.” –Helen Keller

“As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind,
so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.” –Helen Keller

Profound Helen Keller quotes 

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” -Helen Keller

“While they were saying it couldn’t be done, it was done.”― Helen Keller

“We could never learn to be brave and patient
if there were only joy in the world.” -Helen Keller

“No one has a right to consume happiness without producing it.” -Helen Keller

“I cried because I had no shoes until
I met a man who had no feet”― Helen Keller

“All the world is full of suffering.
It is also full of overcoming.” -Helen Keller

“Do not think of today’s failures,
but of the success that may come tomorrow.”― Helen Keller

“The most beautiful world is always
entered through imagination.”― Helen Keller

“What I am looking for is not out there, it is in me.” -Helen Keller

“As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather,
so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.”― Helen Keller

Helen Keller quotes about love and happiness

“Happiness is the final and perfect
fruit of obedience to the laws of life.” –Helen Keller

“It all comes to this: the simplest way
to be happy is to do good.” –Helen Keller

“Your success and happiness lies in you.
Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you
shall form an invincible host against difficulties.” –Helen Keller

“A happy life consists not in the absence,
but in the mastery of hardships.” –Helen Keller

“We are never really happy until
we try to brighten the lives of others.” –Helen Keller

“I take happiness very seriously. It is a creed,
a philosophy and an objective.” –Helen Keller

Helen Keller quotes to inspire and teach

“People do not like to think.
If one thinks, one must reach conclusions.
Conclusions are not always pleasant.” -Helen Keller

“Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose
warm and our intelligence aglow.” -Helen Keller

“No pessimist ever discovered the secret of the stars,
or sailed to an uncharted land,
or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” -Helen Keller

“What really counts in life is the quiet meeting of every difficulty
with the determination to get out of it all the good there is.” -Helen Keller

“If I write what my soul thinks it will be visible,
and the words will be its body.” -Helen Keller

“The heart of a friend gives out sufficient light
for us in the dark to rise by.” -Helen Keller

“When all you can feel are the shadows,
turn your face towards the sun.” -Helen Keller

“The living word awakened my soul,
gave it light, hope, joy, set it free!” –Helen Keller

“He who is content with what has been done
is an obstacle in the path of progress.” -Helen Keller

“Science may have found a cure for most evils;
but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all
the apathy of human beings.” -Helen Keller

“A bend in the road is not the end of the road…
Unless you fail to make the turn.” -Helen Keller

“Happiness does not come from without,
it comes from within.” -Helen Keller

“I believe that God is in me as the sun
is in the colour and fragrance of a flower
the Light in my darkness, the Voice in my silence.” -Helen Keller

“So long as you can sweeten another’s pain,
life is not in vain.” -Helen Keller

“Four things to learn in life:
To think clearly without hurry or confusion;
To love everybody sincerely;
To act in everything with the highest motives;
To trust God unhesitatingly.” -Helen Keller

“The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others
will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves.” -Hellen Keller

“So much has been given to me I have not time
to ponder over that which has been denied.” -Helen Keller

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” -Helen Keller

“Security is mostly a superstition.
It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” -Helen Keller

“Each day comes to me with both hands full of possibilities.” -Helen Keller

eleanor-roosevelt-quotes

Eleanor Anna Roosevelt Quotes

Born Eleanor Anna Roosevelt to an affluent New York family (her uncle was the American president Theodore Roosevelt) in 1886, she was catapulted into New York high society from her birth. After losing a brother and both her parents at an early age, she took on the role of a mother of her surviving brother, Hall, and moved with her maternal grandmother, Mary Livingston Ludlow, in Tivoli, New York.

At the age of 15, she was sent to a private finishing school, Allenswood Academy, near London, where she was heavily influenced by the headmistress, Mary Souvestre, who took a special interest in her and promoted independent thinking and education of women. In 1902, she met her fifth cousin, Franklin D. Roosevelt, on a train to Tivoli.

They got engaged in 1903 and married in 1905 despite his mother’s opposition. Following the onset of Franklin’s paralytical illness in 1921, she began acting as a stand-in for her husband and made several public appearances on his behalf. In 1929, Franklin was elected governor of New York, making Eleanor first lady. After his election as the American president in 1932 and their move to the White House in March 1933, Eleanor struggled with the previous role of the First Lady who was not supposed to be at all engaged in any political activities during her husband’s tenure at the White House.

Eleanor revolutionised the role of the First Lady of the US throughout her husband’s four terms in office until 1945, becoming the first First Lady to hold press conferences, write political columns, fight for various causes, such as women’s rights, and even publicly oppose her husband’s policies from time to time. She also publicly spoke against racial discrimination and promoted the equality of women and minorities in the US.

She is also known as the first First Lady to have made such extensive use of the media to her own advantage. Following her husband’s death, she became heavily engaged in promoting human rights and was appointed the first United States representative to the UN Commission on Human Rights between 1947 and 1953 and the first Chair of the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women between 1961 and 1962, for which she was appointed by President John F. Kennedy.

She was one of the main drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 1948. She was posthumously awarded a Human Rights Prize in 1968 by the UN. She died in 1962 at the age of 78.

She continues to be one of the most important political figures in contemporary history, credited with several achievements associated with the promotion of human rights in general and also rights of women and minorities.

Did you know:

  • that she was a member of the New York crème de la crème and brought up in a wealthy New York family associated with the then President of the US, Theodore Roosevelt,
  • that her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was her fifth cousin,
  • that she maintained a year-long friendship with flying pioneer and aviator Amelia Earhart and even contemplated becoming a pilot herself;
  • that she learnt French and became an independent thinker as a result of the efforts of her headmistress at her finishing school, Mary Souvestre;
  • that she never completely grieved her parents’ and brother’s death which led to a life-long depression;
  • that she campaigned against her first cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in 1924, for which her aunt never forgave her;
  • that she was a strong advocate for the so-called New Deal (a post-war Europe restoration project);
  • that she refused to remain a typical First Lady at the White House not only owing to her independent nature but also due to her husband’s paralysis;
  • that she attempted to create an experimental community in Arthurdale, West Virginia;
  • that she made the same amount of money as her husband during his presidential tenure as a result of her speaking engagements and monthly column;
  • that she was also a civil rights activist that advocated for equal rights of African-American despite heavy opposition;
  • that she fought to make lynching a federal crime;
  • that she was one of the main drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Most Inspiring Eleanor Anna Roosevelt

“People grow through experience if they meet
life honestly and courageously”

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events;
small minds discuss people”

“Friendship with one’s self is all important,
because without it one can not be friends
with anyone else in the world.

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right
for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

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

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in 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.’
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“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 at it.”

“A woman is like a tea bag; you never know
how strong it is until it’s in hot water.”

“I believe 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.”

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

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think
of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“A stumbling-block to the pessimist is
a stepping-stone to the optimist.”

“You can often change your
circumstances by changing your attitude.”

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom.
One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”

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

“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader.
A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”

“To handle yourself, use your head;
to handle others, use your heart.”

“Tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present.”

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

maya-angelou-quotes

Maya Angelou Quotes

Born in 1928 in Missouri as Marguerite Annie Johnson, Maya Angelou was one of the most influential black women of all time, best known for her seven autobiographies, several poetry books, essays and various TV shows, films, and plays. In addition to being an actress, writer, director, and producer, she was also an important activist in the civil rights movement in the US in the 1960s and the first poet to make an inaugural recitation at the first inauguration of Bill Clinton in 1993 (reciting “On the Pulse of Morning”) since Robert Frost at JFK’s inauguration in 1961.

At the age of three, her parents’ tumultuous marriage ended in divorce, following which she was sent to live with her paternal grandmother, Annie Henderson, who was an uncharacteristically successful black woman at the time with a successful general store in Arkansas. The children moved several times and, at the age of eight, she was sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend who was later killed.

She remained mute for five years following the incident and her biographers credit this period of time as the essential period during which she developed her extraordinary imagination and love for literature and books.

She credited a family friend, Mrs. Flowers, for helping her regain her voice and introducing her to various authors, such as Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, and Edgar Allen Poe, and to black female artists, such as Frances Harper and Jessie Fauset. In 1951, she married a Greek electrician, Tosh Angelos, and took several modern dance classes during her marriage.

After its dissolution in 1954, she toured Europe with the production of Porgy and Bess. In 1959, she met the novelist John Oliver Killens and moved to New York where she met several African-American authors, such as John Henrik Clarke and became published for the first time. In 1960, she met Martin Luther King, Jr., and joined his civil rights movement as an important fundraiser and organiser of events. In 1961, she moved to Cairo with her son to live with her partner, South African freedom fighter Vusumzi Make, and worked as a correspondent for the newspaper The Arab Observer.

She wrote her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, in 1968. She also worked as a composer, script writer, and professor at the Wake Forest University in North Carolina (the latter until 2013). She was the first African-American to write three volumes about her life (in the end, she wrote seven in total). Oprah Winfrey credits her as her close friend and mentor. Maya Angelou died in 2014 at the age of 86 but still remains one of the most celebrated black women of all time.

Did you know:

  • her name Maya Angelou came about in 1954 as a combination of her brother’s nickname for her (Maya deriving from ‘My’ or ‘My Sister’) and former married name (Angelos);
  • that she did all sorts of odd jobs during her life, including fry cook, sex worker, Porgy and Bess cast member, before embarking on a writing career;
  • that she was the first black female cable car conductor in San Francisco at the age of 16 for which she received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2014 from the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials;
  • that she owed her proficiency in languages to her decision to learn the languages of all countries she visited during the European tour of the Porgy and Bess production she was cast in during the 1950s;
  • that her screenplay Georgia, Georgia, was the first produced screenplay by a black woman in 1972 in Sweden, and she also wrote the soundtrack for the film;
  • that she directed her first feature film in 1996 (Down in the Delta)?

Most Inspiring Maya Angelou Quotes

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did, but people
will never forget how you made them feel.”

“You may not control all the events that happen to you,
but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly,
but rarely admit the changes it has gone
through to achieve that beauty.”

“I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.”

“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.”

“If you don’t like something, change it
If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

“We need much less than we think we need.”

“If I am not good to myself,
how can I expect anyone else to be good to me?

“Without courage we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency.
We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

“I’ve learned that even when I have pains,
I don’t have to be one.”

“Have enough courage to trust love
one more time and always one more time.”

“If you’re always trying to be normal,
you will never know how amazing you can be.”

“Seek patience and passion in equal amounts.
Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.”

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

“A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy;
a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.”

“You can’t use up creativity.
The more you use, the more you have.”

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths
you take but by the moments that take your breath away.”

“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy
can totally transform one million realities.”

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world,
ut has not solved one yet.”

“Success is liking yourself,
liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”

“There’s a world of difference between truth and facts.
Facts can obscure the truth.”

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life
with a catcher’s mitt on both hands;
you need to be able to throw something back.”

“When someone shows you who they are,
believe them the first time.”

“If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else,
you will have succeeded.”

“We are only as blind as we want to be. “

“I got my own back. “

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. “

“I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody.
And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too. “

“Determine to live life with flair and laughter. “

“I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. “

“I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life.
And I live it I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.”

“Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it,
you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it. “

“Courage – you develop courage by doing small things
like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound
weight without preparing yourself. “

oprah-winfrey-quotes

Oprah Winfrey Quotes

Born in 1954 as Orpah Gail Winfrey to a non-wed teenage mother but whose name was subsequently changed due to continuous mispronunciation thereof to Oprah Gail Winfrey, in Mississippi, and known as one of the richest, most famous and influential women today, Oprah Winfrey did not experience a great start in life.

Her childhood was marked by poverty, various moves (she initially lived with her mother, later on with her maternal grandmother and subsequently to the man she considers her father, Vernon Winfrey, in Tennessee), sexual abuse (which led to the birth of her only son at the age of 14 – he died prematurely), until she landed a job as a radio host as a news anchor on the local black radio station WVOL after winning the Miss Black Tennessee beauty pageant at the age of 17 and worked there during her senior year in high school and throughout college.

After working at various radio stations, she moved to Chicago where she became the host of a rather unpopular morning talk show, AM Chicago, which became hugely popular within months of her taking over, even beating the then very popular talk show Donahue.

She signed a syndication deal with King World for what would later become known as The Oprah Winfrey Show which remained on air for 25 years and beat the previously first-ranked talk show, Donahue. Her talk shows reinvented the format of the so-called tabloid talk show.

She also ventured into the world of film and TV acting and producing – in 1986, she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role as Sofia in The Color Purple. In 2011, she launched her own network, OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network). She is known for her philanthropic work, especially for her academy for girls in South Africa for which she also holds a class via satellite.

Between the years 2004 and 2006, she was ranked as the only black billionaire on the Forbes 400 and became the first female black multi-billionaire in 2003. She is also regarded as the richest African American in the US in the 20th century and was the highest paid TV entertainer in 2006 (for making 260 million US dollars). She is the first black woman to have beaten the previously predominantly white male world of talk show anchors and remains one of the most influential people in the world.  

Did you know:

  • She was initially called Orpah after a biblical figure in the Book of Ruth on her birth certificate which was changed because her name got frequently mispronounced;
  • That her matrilineal line is shown to have originated from today’s Liberia;
  • That she used to be called “The Preacher” at her grandmother’s local church that her ancestor used to take her to while she stayed with her because of her ability to recite Bible verses like no other;
  • That she credits her grandmother with promoting her public speaking talent and helping her become one of the most popular TV anchors to this day;
  • That her grandmother said that she always knew Oprah would be a public speaker one day because she always loved to be on stage and even interviewed her corncob doll and crows on the fence of the family’s property;
  • That she considers Maya Angelou her mentor and “mother-sister friend”?

Most Inspiring Oprah Winfrey Quotes

“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.”

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.
If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”

“Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

“You can have it all. Just not all at once.”

“Real integrity is doing the right thing,
knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”

“One of the hardest things in life to learn are which bridges
to cross and which bridges to burn.”

“Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new centre of gravity.
Don’t fight them. Just find a new way to stand.”

“The thing you fear most has no power.
Your fear of it is what has the power. Facing the truth really will set you free.”

“Surround yourself only with people who are going to take you higher.”

“True forgiveness is when you can say,
“Thank you for that experience.”

“You don’t become what you want,
you become what you believe.”

“The great courageous act that we must all do,
is to have the courage to step out of our history
and past so that we can live our dreams.”

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo,
but what you want is someone
who will take the bus with you when
the limo breaks down.”

“Do the one thing you think you cannot do
Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time.
The only people who never tumble
are those who never mount the high wire.”

“You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”

The more you praise and celebrate your life,
the more there is in life to celebrate.”

“I trust that everything happens for a reason,
even when we’re not wise enough to see it.”

“Everybody has a calling.
And your real job in life is to figure out
as soon as possible what that is,
who you were meant to be,
and to begin to honour that in the best way possible for yourself.”

“The key to realizing a dream is to focus
not on success but on significance
and then even the small steps and little
victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”

“The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

“Self-esteem comes from being able to define the world
in your own terms and refusing to abide by the judgments of others.”

“Forgiveness is giving up the hope
that the past could have been any different.”

“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment
is the only one you know you have for sure.”

“Opportunity may knock only once
but temptation leans on the doorbell.”

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”

maria-montessori-quotes

Maria Montessori Quotes

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori was a female Italian physician and educator best-known for her “Montessori Method” of educating children with an emphasis on practical work. She broke gender barriers by initially thinking of studying engineering and subsequently by deciding to study medicine which was frowned upon by her male colleagues.

She later became involved in paediatric medicine which led to her increasing interest in children’s psychology and the development of her own educational method, initially used in Italy but later introduced all over the world, including the US.


Born Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori in 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy, to an official working for the Ministry of Finance and a well-educated mother which was far from the rule for women at the time. Her mother proved an important influence in her decision to pursue higher levels of education. In high school, she excelled in science and mathematics. She initially wanted to study engineering (which was not a typical choice for a woman at the time) but then opted for medicine instead.

After successfully enrolling in medical school at the University of Rome in 1893, she had to face discrimination at the face of her male colleagues and professors due to her gender. Despite several hurdles, she successfully graduated in 1896 as an expert in paediatric medicine. For five years, she focused on children with cognitive delays and disabilities whom she observed in asylums in Rome and her findings subsequently influenced her later educational work.

She was also enthralled by the work of physicians and educators Jean Marc Gaspard Itard and Édouard Séguin who also influenced her work. She worked with teachers educating mentally disabled children at the “Orthophrenic School” where she developed various methods of working with them that were adapted for use with mainstream children as time passed. In 1902, she started studying philosophy at the University of Rome but did not finish her studies.

In the following years, she published several papers on educational topics and anthropologically researched Italian children. In 1906, she began working at the first “Casa dei Bambini” (Children’s House) where she applied her so-called “scientific pedagogy”. Following its success, a second followed in 1907, her method was spread throughout Italy and, in the early 1910s, to other countries, including Switzerland. Her educational works were translated into several languages, including English, German, Japanese, Spanish, and Romanian. Her methods were also met by critical acclaim in the US

Did you know:

  • That her mother was the great-niece of the Italian anthropologist and paleontologist Antonio Stoppani and strongly encouraged her in her pursuit of knowledge;
  • That she was met with hostility by her fellow students and professors at the University of Rome where she studied medicine due to her gender and was forced to perform dissections of cadavers alone after hours because attending classes with men in the presence of a naked men was deemed inappropriate;
  • That she initially studied mentally disabled children and later transposed her findings also to mainstream children;
  • That she developed her so-called “scientific pedagogy” methods during her philosophy degree course;
  • That she taught children practical activities, such as sweeping, personal care, care for the environment, hand washing, cooking, etc.;
  • That she also researched her methods in India, where she was strongly assisted by her son Mario;
  • That she gave several lectures and published numerous books and papers on the education of children and the importance of sensory exploration and manipulatives;
  • That her first “Orthophrenic School” was opened in 1900;
  • that her educational method is used in three different set-ups, for children between 2 and 2.5 years of age, between 2.5 and 6 years of age, and between 6 and 12 years of age?

Inspirational Maria Montessori quotes

“All that we ourselves are has been made by the child,
by the child we were in the first two years of our lives.”
(The Absorbent Mind)

“There are many who hold, as I do,
that the most important period of life
is not the age of university studies,
but the first one,
the period from birth to the age of six.
For that is the time when man’s intelligence itself,
his greatest implement, is being formed.
But not only his intelligence;
the full totality of his psychic powers.”
(The Absorbent Mind)

“Development is a series of rebirths.”
(The Absorbent Mind)

“Let us leave the life free to develop
within the limits of the good,
and let us observe this inner life developing.
This is the whole of our mission.”
(Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook)

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due,
superior to us by reason of their innocence
and of the greater possibilities of their future.”
(Dr. Montessori’s Own Handbook)

“The child is endowed with unknown powers,
which can guide us to a radiant future.
If what we really want is a new world,
then education must take as its aim the
development of these hidden possibilities.”
(The Absorbent Mind)

“We must learn how to call upon the man
which lies dormant in the soul of a child.”

“Education is the best weapon for peace.”
(1937 lecture by Dr. Montessori in Copenhagen)

“Free the child’s potential,
and you will transform him into the world.”

anne-frank-quotes

Anne Frank Quotes

Annelies Marie “Anna” Frank is one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust during WWII, known for her diary, published posthumously by her father Otto, the only survivor, in 1947.

Her diary, “The Diary of a Young Girl”, continues to be one of the most popular and read books, translated into 70 languages, and depicts her life during the life in hiding of her Jewish family between 1942 and 1944 in Amsterdam, before being discovered by the Nazis and taken to concentration camps.

She died in 1945 in Bergen-Belsen, most likely from typhus. She has been praised as an affluent author with a distinct ability to observe the developments around her with a voice far surpassing her age.


Born in 1929 in Frankfurt to liberal Jewish parents, Annelies or Annaliese Marie Frank grew up in a family with an extensive library where reading was strongly encouraged. After the Nazi Party won the elections in 1933, her mother travelled with both daughters, Anna and her older sister Margot, to her sister in Aachen but her father Otto remained Frankfurt.

As Otto received an offer to work in Amsterdam, the family slowly but surely moved there in addition to 300.000 Jews who fled Nazi Germany between 1933 and 1939 and settled in an emigrant German Jewish community. When Germany successfully invaded the Netherlands in 1940, Otto tried to obtain a visa for the United States which failed for various reasons.

In 1942, shortly before the family was forced into hiding, Anna received a notebook which she used as a diary chronicling everyday events in their hiding place in Otto Frank’s company of whose existence only his most entrusted employees were privy. Later on, the Franks were joined by another family, the Van Pels, and the family’s dentist, Fritz Pfeffer. During the following years, Anna succinctly observed the relationships within the group of people bound together by their plight and fear of being discovered and learnt about love through her proximity with Peter Van Pels. She also discussed God and other abstract subjects as she grew and matured as a writer.

At the beginning of August 1944, the hiding place was discovered by the authorities and the family transported to concentration camps. Anna’s father Otto survived Auschwitz and published Anna’s diary after the war as kept by his faithful secretary Miep Gies. Anna most likely died from typhus at the Bergen Belsen concentration camp.

Did you know:

  • That Anna was of German origin (having been born in Frankfurt) but moved to Amsterdam when she was four and a half after Nazis had assumed power in Germany;
  • That she and her family were forced to go into hiding due to increasing persecutions of Jews in the Netherlands in 1942;
  • That her family moved to Amsterdam after her father had secured a business and accommodation for the entire family;
  • That they went into hiding above the office space of her father and only a few of his most trusted employees knew of their whereabouts;
  • That she formed a relationship with the son of another family that joined them in confinement, Peter van Pels,
  • That she also bonded with the family’s helpers,
  • That she wanted to become a journalist after the war,
  • That it was never truly discovered who had outed them and their hiding place;
  • That her novel was later turned into various films and plays;
  • That She was selected as one of the 100 most important people in history by Time in June 1999 as one of “Heroes and Icons”
  • That you can still visit the house where she went into hiding?

Most Inspiring Anne Frank Quotes

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait
a single moment before starting to improve the world.

In spite of everything,
I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Think of all the beauty still left
around you and be happy.

No one has ever become poor by giving.

Parents can only give good advice
or put them on the right paths,
but the final forming of a person’s
character lies in their own hands.

The best remedy for those who are afraid,
lonely or unhappy is to go outside,
somewhere where they can be quite alone
with the heavens, nature and God.

I don’t think of all the misery,
but of the beauty that still remains.

People can tell you to keep your mouth shut,
but that doesn’t stop you from having your own opinion.

In the long run, the sharpest weapon
of all is a kind and gentle spirit.

Where there’s hope, there’s life
It fills us with fresh courage
and makes us strong again.

Whoever is happy will make others happy.

Human greatness does not lie in wealth or power,
but in character and goodness.

As long as this exists, this sunshine and this cloudless sky,
and as long as I can enjoy it, how can I be sad?

There’s only one rule you need to remember:
laugh at everything and forget everybody else!
It sounds egotistical, but it’s actually the only cure
for those suffering from self-pity.

Those who have courage and faith
shall never perish in misery.

The good news is that you don’t
know how great you can be!
How much you can love!
What you can accomplish!
And what your potential is!

Dead people receive more flowers than the living
ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.

Sympathy, love, fortune…
We all have these qualities
but still tend to not use them!

I can’t imagine how anyone can say: ‘I’m weak’,
and then remain so. After all, if you know it,
why not fight against it,
why not try to train your character?

I think it’s odd that grown-ups quarrel so easily
and so often and about such petty matters.
Up to now I always thought bickering was just
something children did and that they outgrew it.

An empty day, though clear and bright,
is just as dark as any night.

The young are not afraid of telling the truth.

Whoever doesn’t know it,
must learn and find by experience that
a quiet conscience makes one strong!’

I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will
come when I shall be able to carry them out.

We all live with the objective of being happy;
our lives are all different and yet the same.

Diana-princess-of-wales-quotes

Princess Diana Quotes

Diana, Princess of Wales, born Diana Frances Spencer, was a prominent member of the British Royal Family and first wife of the heir apparent to the British throne, Charles, Prince of Wales, from 1981 to their divorce in 1996, with whom she had two children, princes William and Harry.

During her life, she was not only known for her role in the Windsor family, but also as a style icon and advocate for people suffering from HIV/AIDS, leprosy, and other ailments, she was the patron and/or presidents of numerous charities, including those fighting poverty, fighting for human rights, she raised funds for the removal of landmines and other causes.

Despite her tumultuous private life she continues to remain one of the most popular members of the royal family even after her untimely death in 1997, dubbed the “Princess of Hearts” by former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair. She is credited for profoundly changing the image and etiquette in place in the British Royals and her legacy lives on through the charitable efforts of both her sons and their spouses.


Born Diana Frances Spencer in 1961 in Sandringham, to a viscount family close to the royal family, she grew up with three siblings. As a child, she would play with the Queen’s sons Prince Andrew and Prince Edward when they stayed in the neighbouring house. After being home-schooled and attending a boarding school, she attended a finishing school in Switzerland for a short time before moving to her mother’s flat in London with two friends.

She was a talented pianist and excellent cook. She took several low-paying jobs, including as a dance instructor. She first met Charles in 1977 as he was dating her older sister Sarah. They got engaged and married in 1981. Diana was the first royal bride to have a paying job before marrying into the royal family. She was a devoted wife and mother and raised both her sons herself.

After her divorce in 1996, she continued raising her children and dedicated herself more fully to her charity work, including working with HIV/AIDS patients, fighting against the use of landmines and raising awareness on leprosy and cancer. She was also known for her impeccable fashion sense and was admired by women worldwide as a fashion icon. She continues to remain the “Queen of Hearts” as dubbed by the public during both her life and her fateful early death.

Did you know:

  • That she was born into the Spencer family which had been close to the Windsors for many generations;
  • That, before marrying Charles, she worked as a dance instructor for youth, a playgroup pre-school assistant, hostess at parties, nanny, nursery teacher’s assistant, and cleaner for her sister Sarah and her friends;
  • That she was the first royal bride to have a paying job before her engagement,
  • That she and Charles insisted the martial vow to obey him be taken out during their wedding;
  • That she travelled the world extensively to raise funds and awareness of many causes, including HIV/AIDS, mental illness, poverty, leprosy, cancer, landmines, children;
  • That she was one of the runners-up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1997?

Most Inspiring Princess Diana quotes


“Everyone needs to be valued.
Everyone has the potential to give something back.”

“Carry out a random act of kindness,
with no expectation of reward,
safe in the knowledge that one day
someone might do the same for you.”

“Family is the most important thing in the world.”

“Only do what your heart tells you.”

“Everyone of us needs to show how much we care
for each other and, in the process, care for ourselves.”

“Life is just a journey.”

“They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable,
but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?”

“Hugs can do great amounts of good
especially for children.”

“If you find someone you love in your life,
then hang on to that love.”

“When you are happy you can forgive a great deal.”

“I don’t want expensive gifts;
I don’t want to be bought.
I have everything I want.
I just want someone to be there for me,
to make me feel safe and secure.”

“I touch people. I think everyone needs that.
Placing a hand on a friend’s face means making contact.”

“I don’t go by the rule book;
I lead from the heart, not the head.”

“You can’t comfort the afflicted
with afflicting the comfortable.”

“I think the biggest disease the world suffers from
in this day and age is the disease of people feeling unloved.
I know that I can give love for a minute,
for half an hour, for a day, for a month,
but I can give. I am very happy to do that, I want to do that.”

coco-chanel-quotes

Coco Chanel Quotes

Coco Chanel was a French fashion designer and businesswoman, most known for introducing a new style to women’s clothing which proved to be the deathblow to the corseted female silhouette. She is also well-known for one of the most famous perfumes in the world, Chanel No. 5.


Born Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel in 1883 in Saumur, France, as the second of a total of six children of a laundrywoman and street vendor, she grew up in a family that struggled to make ends meet. Her surname was entered in the official registry as “Chasnel”, most likely due to a clerical error, which “Coco” never had changed in order to hide her modest origins and childhood spent in rundown housing.

Her father’s decision to send her and her sisters to a convent when she was 11 years old helped her develop her subsequent career as this is where she was taught how to sew. Following her 6-year-stay at the convent, she began working as a seamstress and also at a cabaret where she is said to have obtained her famous nickname “Coco” following the title of a song she used to sing there (Who has seen Coco?).

She did not establish her first boutiques until she met Captain Arthur Capel, a rich Englishman who also influenced the creation of the famous rectangular shapes of her signature perfume bottles through the shape of his toiletry bottles that he always carried around.

During her affair with Capel, Chanel began designing hats which she later transformed into a fully-fledged business, especially after her hats were worn by the famous French actress Gabrielle Dorzat. In 1913, she opened a boutique which sold deluxe casual clothing for leisure. She opened another boutique in Biarritz in 1915 which proved a success with wealthy Spaniards. In 1919, she established her high-fashion design company in Paris.

Initially, she only sold clothing but later expanded her portfolio to include fragrances and jewellery. In the 1920s, her now famous fragrance Chanel No. 5 was developed and successfully launched on the market. In 1947, it made her the richest woman in the world. In 1954, she made a comeback with the first collection in the past 15 years.

In her designs, she was renowned for freeing women from corsets, using jersey in an innovative way and being influenced by Slavic fashion. She is also famous for the so-called “little black dress”.

Did you know:

  • That she was born in a poorhouse and never changed the wrongfully entered family name (Chasnel) on her official document to hide her origin;
  • That she learnt to sew at the convent of Aubazine where she was sent by her father;
  • That she initially wanted to make a career in showbusiness and appeared in the Parisian cabaret;
  • That her short-lived singing career may have attributed to her nickname “Coco” due to the song she used to sing “Who has seen Coco”
  • That she started designing hats more as a diversion during her relationship with the textile heir Étienne Balsan;
  • That she opened her first boutique thanks to her relationship with Balsan’s friend, Captain Arthur Capel
  • It is said that his sartorial look influenced the “Channel” look
  • That the famous rectangular bottle of Chanel No. 5 can be attributed either to the toiletry bottles or whiskey of Capel’s;
  • That she became a licensed milliner in 1910 and that her designs took off after being worn by the famous actress Gabrielle Dorziat;
  • That she introduced a more chic and sporty style to women’s clothing, jersey fabric to high fashion and was heavily influenced by Slavic designs?

Most Inspiring Coco Chanel quotes

“The best things in life are free.
The second best are very, very expensive.”

“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only.
Fashion is in the sky, in the street.
Fashion has to do with ideas,
the way we live, what is happening.”

“In order to be irreplaceable,
one must always be different.”

“The most courageous act
is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

“There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony.
There is time for work. And time for love.
That leaves no other time.”

“Adornment, what a science! Beauty,
what a weapon! Modesty, what elegance!”

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall,
hoping to transform it into a door.”

“You live but once; you might as well be amusing.”

“Elegance is when the inside
s as beautiful as the outside.”

“Fashion fades.
Only style remains the same.”

“A girl should be two things:
who and what she wants.”

mother-teresa-quotes

Mother Teresa Quotes

Mother Teresa (Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu), canonised by the Catholic Church in 2016 as “Saint Teresa of Calcutta” was an Albanian-Indian Catholic nun and missionary, born in Skopje, North Macedonia. When she turned 18, she moved to Ireland to learn English and become a missionary.

She spent most of her life in India. Her religious congregation, Missionaries of Charity, where founded in 1950, engaged in managing homes for people dying of aids, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, orphanages, schools and counselling programmes. She was well-known for her robe with two blue stripes in which she performed her work on the streets of Calcutta. Her congregation has since spread all over the world. She was canonised in 2016 by Pope Francis.

Born Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in a Kosovar Albanian family in Skopje in modern day North Macedonia and a part of the Ottoman Empire at the time of her birth, Mother Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu or Mother Teresa in short. Her father was a local politician and died when she was only 8 years old.

She became fascinated with stories of missionaries at an early age and already knew at the tender age of 12 that she wanted to dedicate her life to a religious calling. She joined the Sisters of Loreto in Ireland at the age of 18 in order to learn English and become a missionary herself.

In 1929, she moved to India where she also learnt Bengali. After working as a teacher and also headmistress in Calcutta for almost 20 years, she could no longer ignore the poverty in the city. After hearing her calling to dedicate herself to the poor, she left the school in 1950 and founded the Missionaries of Charity.

This is when she became known for her two saris with a blue border. She dedicated the rest of her life to missionary work with the poor in which she was joined by other young women. Initially struggling from a lack of funds to perform her work, she subsequently received assistance from local officials and opened her first hospice in 1952. This hospice – which was free for the poor – was followed by others, including a second one which also catered to patients with leprosy. In addition, her order created several clinics for leprosy-stricken individuals all over the city where they received medication, dressings, and food. She also started taking in homeless children.  By the 1960s, she became well-known, no longer struggled with a lack of finances for her work and spread her clinics and hospices all over the world.

Did you know

  • That her father had died of a mysterious illness when she was only 8 years old;
  • That she was named one of the co-patrons of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Calcutta in September 2017;
  • That her birth name Anjezë means “rosebud” in Albanian;
  • That her family was of Kosovar-Albanian origin;
  • That she experienced “the call” to start helping the poor on a train trip to Darjeeling in September 1946;
  • That she not only helped people with HIV/AIDS, but also with leprosy, blindness, and other ailments;
  • That she rescued 37 children trapped in a front-line hospital by brokering a temporary cease-fire between Israel and Palestine in 1982;
  • That she was fluent in five languages – Albanian, Bengali, Serbian, English, and Hindi;
  • That she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964?

Most Inspiring Mother Teresa Quotes

Be faithful in small things becaus
it is in them that your strength lies.

Spread love everywhere you go.
Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean.
But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.

Intense love does not measure, it just gives.

Not all of us can do great things.
But we can do small things with great love.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak,
but their echoes are truly endless.

The hunger for love is much more difficult
to remove than the hunger for bread.”

If you can’t feed a hundred people,
then feed just one.

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come.
We have only today. Let us begin.

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts,
there can be no more hurt, only more love.
We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do.

Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning.
Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.

The most terrible poverty is loneliness,
and the feeling of being unloved.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
What can you do to promote world peace?
Go home and love your family.

I alone cannot change the world,
but I can cast a stone across
the waters to create many ripples.

I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbour.
Do you know your next-door neighbour?

I am not sure exactly what heaven will be like,
but I know that when we die and it comes time for God to judge us,
he will not ask,
‘How many good things have you done in your life?’
rather he will ask,
‘How much love did you put into what you did?
God doesn’t require us to succeed,
he only requires that you try.

If we have no peace, it is because
we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

It’s not how much we give
but how much love we put into giving.

Joy is a net of love in which you can catch souls.

Never travel faster than your guardian angel can fly.