Human beings have been around for a couple of million years now, right? And in that time, they’ve philosophized, written sonnets and stories, and had revolutions, declarations and proclamations that have given us a plethora of memorable and beautiful quotes.
Thousands of books and movies exist out there, filled to the brim with wondrous words that may change your life if you let them. You see, quotes hold their own special magic. They’re short, for the most part, which somehow heightens their impact.
I suppose it’s the idea of such large and complicated concepts being explained or understood which such few words that interests us.
Even those of us who aren’t big on books know a few cool quotes but, there are some quotes out there that may just change the way you think. Such is the weight of those words. So, without further ado, read on to find a list of (potentially) life changing quotes.
1. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
“We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us with nothing to show for our progress except the smell of smoke and the presumption that our eyes once watered”.
By far one of my favorite quotes of all time, this quote taken from a book described as an absurd and existentialist comedy. It’s gripping, tragic and yet it makes sense.
It talks about how human beings cope with their lives and continue through them, essentially by taking one thing at a time. Yet, the continuation of the burnt bridges metaphor is what makes this quote stand out.
It reminds us, that we as humans, have the courage to continue on with our lives despite the challenges of the past, and that we have the strength to carry pieces of our experiences with us.
2. Broca’s Brain: Reflections of the Romance of Science
“Just the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus. They laughed at Fulton. They laughed at the Wright brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.”
A truly refreshing take on so many generic quotes we come to here. Finally, someone’s out there and saying it.
The idea that everyone who does something strange or odd must be extraordinary is a common one. Yet, Carl Sagan goes ahead and says that while many extraordinary people are laughed at, it is also possible that ordinary people are laughed at for no real reason or in cases like Bozo the Clown, for their profession.
He challenges society’s inclination to ridicule people and that same society’s insistence of romanticizing their own cruelty.
3. The Importance of Being Earnest
“The truth is rarely pure and never simple.”
Oscar Wilde was a wise man. Very few will dispute that. But he was also, ironically enough, an honest one. We can tell that simply by reading this quote. Here, in a short sentence,we are told the real nature of the truth.
These words remind us of the impact of what we say. We always hear about how we should tell the truth, but are never told how hard that really is, or just how complicated the truth can be.
4. Anais Nin
“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayal. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.”
A sad but poetic quote about the harsh truth of love. Convenient as it is to believe that love just simply disappears or ends, and that is why people leave each other, that is not the case.
You see, love does disappear or end but, there are always reasons behind it that we don’t want to accept.
5. Holy Sonnets
“I am a little world, made cunningly.”
There is such mystery in these few words. But also such hope. It shows that all people are such complex, beautiful things that they could be compared to worlds.
It also talks about the magic of creation and how we as humans are able to grow and develop into ‘little worlds’ without even knowing that’s what we are.
6. The Brave// Beau Taplin
“You cannot always be strong. But you can always be brave.”
This is the perfect quote if you’re looking for some courage. It reminds you that strength is hard and must be fought for and earned. But courage is easy. Courage is about willpower. About belief.
Courage lives within us all. And it us up to us if we choose to follow it or not.
7. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
“Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and oftentimes we call a man cold when he is only sad.”
Oftentimes, when people are in pain, they pull away. They don’t want to be questioned, they don’t want the horrors of their mind and the ache of their hearts to be a subject for discussion. So, they retreat into themselves, and become, without knowing it, cold.
What is truly tragic is that more often than not, that act of pulling away, that self induced loneliness, is seen as coldness and these people, who have tackled their suffering the only way they know how, end up being the subject of ridicule anyway.
8. Do The Work
“A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius of the madman. It is only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”
This one gives you some perspective. It reminds you of what it felt like to have faith. What it felt like to be creative and to wonder and to trust. Those are powerful feelings, and it is only a lucky few that get to hold onto those feelings throughout adulthood.
“Misery doesn’t spare young souls.”
A truly sad quote that reminds us all of the fact that human emotions, specifically negative ones, are not tied to age.
They take hold wherever they see vulnerability, and oftentimes, that’s among the young.
10. Gloria Steinem
“I hope one that we will one day change society to fit the unique individual not the unique individual to fit society.”
An eloquent phrase that encompasses an idea that we all understand. The wish for understanding in a community. It is always important to celebrate individuality and change in a community and finally, Gloria Stienam gives a name to an idea that we’ve all had for ages.
“Trust no kings. Kings put girls in towers. Trust your wings, for a girl with wings, will soar past kings, as they look up from towers.”
This quote is truly lovely. Written by an Instagram poet named Attcius, it is empowering yet gentle, fierce yet vulnerable and well said all at the same time.
It reminds us that, first and foremost, we are our own people, and we are not bound to anyone.
12. Edgar Allen Poe
“Years of love have been forgot in the hatred of a minute.”
A gentle reminder that words have much greater power than we think, and that our emotions cam sometimes be our enemies.
We must always remember that pain doesn’t justify cruelty, and that just because someone loves us, that doesn’t mean they will stand around and absorb all our rage.
13. Ernest Hemingway
“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”
It is sad when we come to realize the fate of many people who choose to live their truths. People who are good and kind and who end up suffering for it. Who lose because of all that they have within themselves.
“The trouble is, you think you have time.”
A particularly wise quote that essentially reminds us to seize the day and to not be fooled by our own minds. Oftentimes, we delude ourselves and lie to ourselves and that is truly a dangerous thing.
15. The Hobbit
“I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.”
A beautiful and simple message which each one of us must keep close to the heart.
True happiness and the essence to live, truly live while cherishing each moment, lies in being kind to others and spreading love because oftentimes, our good deeds have a way of coming back to us in many an unexpected ways.