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  • Writer's pictureKristin Kowalski Ferragut

Daily Quotes

I enjoyed a thoughtful and whimsical first day of school with some wonderful students. For today's warm up, I asked students to reflect on a given quote and write a word or phrase, or draw a picture or symbol, to share their thoughts or impressions. The 6th graders suggested I save the post-its they wrote on, so we now have a poster of reflections that we can add to. That was a terrific idea! Some great art and profound and funny insights!


I've collected enough quotes to get us through most days of the school year and think they're worth sharing. Some may seem fairly obvious, but perhaps not to middle schoolers. I tried to steer clear of quotes that may seem too edgy or bleak or religious. I concentrated on quotes to inspire, encourage growth mindset and kindness, and some that provide humor, as well as quotes related to history and some specific student interests.


Feel free to share a quote or two in the comments, if any come to mind. I could still use a couple of dozen or so more. I share here what I'm starting with in rough order of when they may be posted.



The only person you’re destined to become is the person you decide to be.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


For there is always a light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.

-Amanda Gorman


The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.

-Nelson Mandela


If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt water mixed with air.

-Nayyirah Waheed


This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.

-Taylor Swift


I have one power. I never give up.

-Batman


Rivers know this: There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.

- A.A. Milne


I love my rejection slips. They show me I try.

-Sylvia Plath


Don’t confuse the truth with the opinion of the majority.

-Jean Cocteau


You must do the things you think you cannot do.

-Eleanor Roosevelt


I think that kids have a greater capacity for processing things than we give them credit for.

-Rick Riordan


I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found kindness is the best way.

-Lady Gaga


Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

-Babe Ruth


A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

-Phylis Diller


If you don't understand, ask questions. If you're uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway.

-Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

-James Baldwin


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

-Hellen Keller


Belonging starts with self-acceptance... Believing that you're enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable, imperfect.

-Brene Brown


The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it. It's that we aim too low and reach it.

-Michelangelo


Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.

-Zora Neale Hurston


Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends we choose.

-Tennessee Williams


I didn’t fail the test. I just found 100 ways to do it wrong.

-Benjamin Franklin


The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.

-Dorothy Parker


The only journey is the one within

-Rainer Maria Rilke


I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework.

-Lily Tomlin


Where there is power, there is resistance.

-Michel Foucault


We realize the importance of our voices only when we are silenced.

-Malala Yousafzai


You don’t need superpowers to be a superhero.

-Batman


We all must live our lives always feeling, always thinking the moment has arrived.

-Tracy Chapman


Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is systems of thought.

-John Rawls


The bicycle was still there, brand new, with its pale-blue frame and its plated handlebars which sparkled against the dull stone of the wall. It was so lissome, so slender, that even when not in use it seemed to cut through the air.

-Simone de Beauvoir


We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.

-Joseph Campbell


No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.

-Carol Dweck


Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.

-George Addair


The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.

-George Carlin


Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

-Gloria Steinem


The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.

-J.M. Barrie


There is hope — I’ve seen it — but it doesn’t come from the governments or corporations, it comes from the people.

-Greta Thunberg


Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

-Voltaire


Everytime I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.

-H.G. Wells


The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

-Franklin D. Roosevelt


You learn through mistakes – no one was born a master.

-Swiss Proverb


You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.

-Harper Lee


Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.

-Hans Christian Andersen


Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

-Marie Curie


There’s only one thing more precious than our time and that’s who we spend it on.

-Leo Christopher


If you go looking for a friend, you’re going to find they’re scarce. If you go looking to be a friend, you’ll find them everywhere.

-Zig Ziglar


We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.

-Anais Nin


Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne


Time spent with cats is never wasted.

-Colette


The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. It’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.

-Barack Obama


To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson


Your self-worth is determined by you. You don’t have to depend on someone telling you who you are.

– Beyoncé


The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Shadow and light are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other.

-Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess


In playing ball, and in life, a person occasionally gets the opportunity to do something great. When that time comes, only two things matter: being prepared to seize the moment and having the courage to take your best swing.

-Hank Aaron


You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean, in a drop.

-Rumi


-Robert Smith


Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.

-Winston Churchill


It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.

-Albert Einstein


Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

-Arthur Ashe


A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers.

-Helen Keller


I don’t know where I’m going, but I promise it won’t be boring.

-David Bowie


The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.

-Picasso


I dwell in possibility.

-Emily Dickinson


Even in dark times, we cannot relinquish the things that make us human.

-Khan, Metro 2033


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

-Mahatma Gandhi


Do one thing every day that scares you.

-Eleanor Roosevelt


We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right.

-Nelson Mandela


Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.

-John Lennon


A generation which ignores history has no past and no future.

-Robert Heinlein


It isn’t the mountain ahead that wear you down. It’s the pebble in your shoe.

-Muhammad Ali


Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

-Dalai Lama


It is the time that you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry


Believe you can and you’re halfway there.

-Theodore Roosevelt


The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

-Leo Tolstoy


What is now proved was once only imagined.

-William Blake


If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

-Dalai Lama


The way we spend our time defines who we are.

-Jonathan Estrin


If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday.

-Pearl S. Buck


The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.

-Amelia Earhart


Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tune without words - and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickinson


People often say motivation doesn’t last, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.

-Zig Ziglar


Dare to love yourself

As if you were a rainbow

With gold at both ends.

-Aberjhani


You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

-Wayne Gretzky


Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.

-Rumi


In the depths of winter, I have finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

-Camus


A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.

-Steve Martin


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

-Mark Twain


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

-Anne Frank


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

-Lao Tzu


To study history means committing yourself to chaos, but nevertheless retaining your faith in order and meaning.

-Herman Hesse


It is never too late to be what you might have been.

-George Elliot


Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?

-Mary Oliver


History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.

-Winston Churchill


Someone else’s action should not determine your response.

-Dalai Lama


If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

-Toni Morrison


It might be a good idea if the various countries of the world occasionally swapped history books, just to see what the other people are doing with the same set of facts.

-Bill Vaughan


Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.

-Goethe


The truth is that all historical writing, even the most honest, is unconsciously subjective, since every age is bound, in spite of itself, to make the dead perform whatever tricks it finds necessary for its own peace of mind.

-Carl Becker


Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.

-Dalai Lama


He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.

-Frederick Nietzsche


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

-Mother Teresa


I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear.

-Rosa Parks


Happiness doesn’t always come from a pursuit. Sometimes it comes when we least expect it.

-Dalai Lama


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you have imagined.

-Henry David Thoreau


We are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars

-Oscar Wilde


Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.

-Dalai Lama


Every man and woman is born into the world to do something unique and something distinctive and if he or she does not do it, it will never be done.

-Benjamin E. Mays


But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life?

-Michel Foucault


I am enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.

-Albert Einstein


I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

-Douglas Adams


The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.

-Tony Robbins


Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.

-Abraham Lincoln


Compassion is the radicalism of our time.

-Dalai Lama


Nothing is impossible. The word itself says “I’m possible.”

-Audrey Hepburg


If people knew how hard I have to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.

-Michelangelo


Fortune befriends the bold.

-Emily Dickinson


They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

-Andy Warhol


We do not remember days, we remember moments.

-Cesare Pavese


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

-Dalai Lama


Luck is believing your lucky.

-Tennessee Williams


The best way out is always through.

-Robert Frost


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.

-Maya Angelou


Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

-Albert Einstein


I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word I’m saying.

-Oscar Wilde


Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

-George Bernard Shaw


The fairest rules are those to which everyone would agree if they did not know how much power they would have.

-John Rawls


Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.

-Zelda Fitzgerald


Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

-Robert Louis Stevenson


Regret for wasted time is more time wasted.

-Mason Cooley


Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

-Thomas Edison


There are three ways to ultimate success: The first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.

-Mister Rogers


In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.

-Patti Smith


Not all those who wander are lost.

-J.R.R. Tolkien


The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for.”

-Bob Marley


And these children that you spit on as they try to change their worlds are immune to your consultations, they’re quite aware of what they’re going through — Changes.

-David Bowie


You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

-C.S. Lewis


May the odds be ever in your favor!

-Suzanne Collins


Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.

-Malala Yourafzai


Do not let making a living prevent you from making a life.

-John Wooden


Education doesn't make us smarter. It makes us whole.

-Jill Biden


My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.

-Anthony Hopkins


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

-Eleanor Roosevelt


I think there is a hero in all of us.

-Spiderman


You have to go the way your blood beats. If you don’t live the only life you have, you won’t live some other life, you won’t live any life at all.

-James Baldwin


May you live all the days of your life.

-Jonathan Swift





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