In my first “Who knew?” post, I included several quotes from the two women. In that case it was Martha Graham and Helen Keller. I realized tonight I did not include any quotes in my “Who knew? part deux” post.
In that second post, I commented on the friendship between Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt. Being adventuresome, outspoken, and intelligent women, they said many memorable and challenging statements during their lifetimes. I’ve chosen several of my favorites to share with you.
Enjoy! I hope you feel as inspired by their words as I do.
Amelia Earhart quotes:
Anticipation, I suppose, sometimes exceeds realization.
In my life I had come to realize that when things were going very well indeed it was just the time to anticipate trouble. And, conversely, I learned from pleasant experience that at the most despairing crisis, when all looked sour beyond words, some delightful “break” was apt to lurk just around the corner.
On action and purpose:
The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows, one of which rolls.
The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure , the process is its own reward.
Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do.
Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done.
No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.
Advice for women:
A girl must nowaways believe completely in herself as an individual. She must realize at the outset that a woman must do the same job better than a man to get as much credit for it.
Love of reading and school:
Like many horrid children I loved school, though I never qualified as teacher’s pet. Perhaps the fact that I was exceedingly fond of reading made me endurable. With a large library to browse in, I spent many hours not bothering anyone after I once learned to read.
After midnight the moon set and I was alone with the stars. I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty, and I need no other flight to convince me that the reason flyers fly, whether they know it or not, is the aesthetic appeal of flying.
Courage is the price that
Life exacts for granting peace.
The soul that knows it not
Knows no release from little things:
Knows not the livid loneliness of fear,
Nor mountain heights where bitter joy can hear the sound of wings.
Nor can life grant us boon of living, compensate
For dull gray ugliness and pregnant hate
Unless we dare
The soul’s dominion.
Each time we make a choice, we pay
With courage to behold the resistless day,
And count it fair.
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
Courage and Fortitude:
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.
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.
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. The chances are that they aren’t paying attention to you.
For 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.
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.
Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn’t have the power to say yes.
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.
The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give.
One thing life has taught me: if you are interested, you never have to look for new interests. They come to you. … All you need to do is to be curious, receptive, eager for experience. And there’s one strange thing: when you are genuinely interested in one thing, it will always lead to something else.
I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could.
Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product.
I consider those are rich who are doing something they feel worthwhile and which they enjoy doing.
You rarely achieve finality. If you did, life would be over, but as you strive new visions open before you, new possibilities for the satisfaction of living.
It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. We all know people who are so much afraid of pain that they shut themselves up like clams in a shell and, giving out nothing, receive nothing and therefore shrink until life is a mere living death.
When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
“So often we try to make other people feel better by minimizing their pain, by telling them that it will get better (which it will) or that there are worse things in the world (which there are).
But that’s not what I actually needed.
What I actually needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered.
I have found this very useful to think about over the years, and I find that it is a lot easier and more bearable to be sad when you aren’t constantly berating yourself for being sad.”
– John Green
We were in a small practice room on campus. If you’ve never been in a practice room it is a bit like a walk-in closet. There is a piano, a piano bench, maybe a chair and usually a music stand. Sometimes there is a mirror. The rooms are small and are supposedly soundproof. In reality they are stuffy, dusty, and sometimes smelly!
But back to my story . . . I was accompanying one of the amazing young singers here recently. She sang this fantastically difficult passage gloriously (as always) — from a Handel aria — it is fast, complicated and very high! She sings it with such a lovely ease (though it is not easy at all!) and the sound spins and shimmers.
I stopped and looked up at her with my eyes suddenly full of tears. She stopped and said, “What? What’s wrong?” I croaked, “I’m going to miss you so much.”
I will miss her talent, her humor, her quirkiness, her musicality, her dedication, her humility — her love of thrift shops, of purple and of God (not necessarily in that order!) — her glorious high B flats! All of that.
We shed a few tears.
My mom happened to be visiting that day, so she was also in that tiny dusty practice room and she said —
“The risk of loving is worth the pain.”
I’ve had a few more teary days since then. During the last voice lesson for each of my students I reflected about the journey I’ve been on with each of them, and on the journeys I’ve been on with other students before them.
I can’t yet put it all into words, but I have been hanging on to this idea to get me through —
The reason it hurts so much to let go and say good bye is that it matters.
Wild grasses spreading o’er the plain With every season come and go. Heath fire can’t burn them up, again They rise when the vernal winds blow. Their scent o’er runs the old pathway; Their color covers the ruined town. Seeing my friend going away, My sorrow grows like wild grass o’er grown. –Bai Ju-yi (772-846)
Sky and earth forever last, Lonely, I felt sad with running tears. –Chen Zi-ang (661-702)