Parenting

100+ Inspiring Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes That Stand The Test Of Time

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eleanor roosevelt quotes
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Eleanor Roosevelt is so much more than a First Lady. She was also a civil rights activist and the author of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Did you know that Eleanor was actually her middle name? Her first name was Ana and her nickname as a kid was granny due to her old soul demeanor. She loved field hockey and has 35 honorary degrees under her belt (who knew?!)

In addition to her time living in the White House, she was also an activist, writer and diplomat. In fact, she served as the United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly from 1945 to 1952. With all of her accomplishments, it’s no wonder she has plenty of wisdom to share with the rest of us. Here are 101 of her most inspiring quotes.

Looking for more inspiration from other powerful women? We have quote pages for Michelle Obama, Maya Angelou, and more.

  1. “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”
  2. “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.”
  3. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
  4. “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.”
  5. “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.”
  6. “You must do the things you think you cannot do.”
  7. “A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”
  8. “A little simplification would be the first step toward rational living, I think.”
  9. “Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.”
  10. “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
  11. “Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”
  12. “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.”
  13. “Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.”
  14. “It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know.”
  15. “Happiness is not a goal… it’s a by-product of a life well-lived.”
  16. “If life were predictable, it would cease to be life, and be without flavor.”
  17. “We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”
  18. “The only things one can admire at length are those one admires without knowing why.”
  19. “The giving of love is an education in itself.”
  20. “The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long-standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it.”
  21. “Perhaps nature is our best assurance of immortality.”
  22. “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.”
  23. “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 have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
  24. “Work is always an antidote to depression.”
  25. “A woman is like a teabag — you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
  26. “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.”
  27. “Only a man’s character is the real criterion of worth.”
  28. “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”
  29. “My experience has been that work is almost the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.”
  30. “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.”
  31. “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 should be curiosity.”
  32. “When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”
  33. “Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.”
  34. “Every time you meet a situation you think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before.”
  35. “I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”
  36. “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ”
  37. “I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.”
  38. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
  39. “Do the things that interest you and do them with all your heart. Don’t be concerned about whether people are watching you or criticizing you.”
  40. “What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”
  41. “People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built.”
  42. “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.’”
  43. “What one has to do usually can be done.”
  44. “I think I lived those years very impersonally. It was almost as though I had erected someone outside myself who was the president’s wife. I was lost somewhere deep down inside myself. That is the way I felt and worked until I left the White House.”
  45. “Probably the happiest period in life most frequently is in middle age, when the eager passions of youth are cooled, and the infirmities of age not yet begun; as we see that the shadows, which are at morning and evening so large, almost entirely disappear at midday.”
  46. “Old age has deformities enough of its own. It should never add to them the deformity of vice.”
  47. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
  48. “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.”
  49. “Courage is exhilarating.”
  50. “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 his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.”

Related: 100+ Hilarious Life Quotes Dripping With Sarcasm And Wit

  1. “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
  2. “I’m so glad I never feel important, it does complicate life!”
  3. “It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”
  4. “In all our contacts it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond.”
  5. “If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault.”
  6. “What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail?”
  7. “You can never really live anyone else’s life, not even your child’s. The influence you exert is through your own life, and what you’ve become yourself.”
  8. “Autobiographies are only useful as the lives you read about and analyze may suggest to you something that you may find useful in your own journey through life.”
  9. “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.”
  10. “Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
  11. “I can not believe that war is the best solution. No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.”
  12. “I do not think that I am a natural-born mother… If I ever wanted to mother anyone, it was my father.”
  13. “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.”
  14. “Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.”
  15. “As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.”
  16. “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”
  17. “I have never felt that anything really mattered but knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.”
  18. “A mature person is one who 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 in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all-knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.”
  19. “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”
  20. “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.”
  21. “The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.”
  22. “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”
  23. “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life. ”
  24. “Ambition is pitiless. Any merit that it cannot use it finds despicable.”
  25. “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.”
  26. “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”
  27. “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.”
  28. “Hate and force cannot be in just a part of the world without having an effect on the rest of it.”
  29. “Understanding is a two-way street.”
  30. “One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. When you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.”
  31. “Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.”
  32. “I have spent many years of my life in opposition, and I rather like the role.”
  33. “Anyone who thinks must think of the next war as they would of suicide.”
  34. “The mother of a family should look upon her housekeeping and the planning of meals as a scientific occupation.”
  35. “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.”
  36. “Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
  37. “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.”
  38. “Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.”
  39. “Never be bored, and you will never be boring.”
  40. “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.”
  41. “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.”
  42. “Will people ever be wise enough to refuse to follow bad leaders or to take away the freedom of other people?”
  43. “If you can develop this ability to see what you look at, to understand its meaning, to readjust your knowledge to this new information, you can continue to learn and to grow as long as you live and you’ll have a wonderful time doing it.”
  44. “Be confident, not certain.”
  45. “We do not have to become heroes overnight. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears, discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.”
  46. “He who learns but does not think is lost. He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”
  47. “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”
  48. “Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
  49. “When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”
  50. “It is not more vacation we need — it is more vocation.”
  51. “Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.”
  52. “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. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”
  53. “Friendship with oneself is all-important because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.”
  54. “A great deal of fear is a result of just not knowing. We do not know what is involved in a new situation. We do not know whether we can deal with it. The sooner we learn what it entails, the sooner we can dissolve our fear.”
  55. “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
  56. “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.”
  57. “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.”
  58. “Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it. All anyone can do is to point out ways and means which have been helpful to others. Perhaps they will serve as suggestions to stimulate your own thinking until you know what it is that will fulfill you, will help you to find out what you want to do with your life.”Related: Famous Parenting Quotes That Will Have You Cry Laughing Through Diaper Changes

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