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Gifts of Ideas from Great Women
By Rich Meiss • Thursday, May 29, 2008

I am often inspired by the wisdom of many great woman, and have kept a collection of their quotes and words. These women have included educators, actresses, authors, poets, politicians, musicians, civil rights leaders and first ladies. From Amelia Earhart - “adventure is worthwhile in itself.”  I hope that these words will inspire you to pursue your goals and seek adventure. 
Alcott, Louisa May (1832-1888) Author of “Little Women” and other works
“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. 
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”
Anderson, Marian (1902-1993) Opera Singer; U.S. Delegate to United Nations
“As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to hold him; so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.”
Anthony, Susan B. (1820-1906) Women’s suffragist; first woman on U.S. currency
“Distrust people who know too much about what God wants them to do to
their fellows.”
Ball, Lucille (1911-1989) American actress and comedienne
“I don’t know anything about luck. I’ve never banked on it and am afraid
of people who do. Luck to me is something else; hard work and realizing
what is opportunity and what is not.”
Bankhead, Tallulah (1902-1968) American actress
“If I had my life to live over, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.”
Barton, Clara (1821-1912) Founder of American Red Cross
“It is wise statesmanship which suggests that in time of peace we must
prepare for war, and it is no less a wise benevolence that makes
preparation in the hour of peace for assuaging the ills that are sure to
accompany war.”
Bethune, Mary McLeod (1875-1955)  American educator, founder of the Bethune-Cookman University
“Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.”
Blackwell, Elizabeth (1821-1910) First U.S. woman to earn M.D. and practice medicine
“Our duty is loyalty to right, opposition to wrong.”
Bombeck, Erma (1927-1996) American writer and humorist
“The only reason I would take up jogging is so that I could hear heavy breathing again.”
Brande, Dorthea (1893-1948) Editor and author
“Act as though it were impossible to fail.”
Brothers, Joyce (1925-    ) American psychologist and author
“Anger repressed can poison a relationship as surely as the cruelest words.”
Buck, Pearl (1892-1973) Author of The Good Earth, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winner
“I do not fear oversimplification; I fear overcomplication.”
Cather, Willa (1873-1947) Author of O’Pioneers and works urging spiritual values
“Where there is great love, there is always miracles.”
Chisholm, Shirley (1924-    )  First black U.S. congresswoman
“Tremendous amounts of talent are being lost to our society, just because
that talent wears a skirt.”
Curie, Marie (1867-1934) Polish-born French scientist who won two Nobel prizes
“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement, and at the same time share a general responsibility for all       humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.”
Davis, Bette (1908-1991) American actress
“This became a credo of mine: Attempt the impossible in order to improve your work.”
Dickinson, Emily (1830-1886) American poet
“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.”
Dietrich, Marlene (1901-1992) German actress
“It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
Diller, Phyllis (1917-    ) American comedienne
“Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight.”
Dole, Elizabeth (1936-    ) U.S. Labor Secretary, President of American Red Cross
“We have learned that power is a positive force if it is used for positive purposes.”
Earhart, Amelia (1898-1937) Female pilot, lost while attempting to fly around the world
“Courage is the price that life extracts for granting peace.”
Field, Sally ((1946-    ) American actress
“I never really address myself to any image anybody has of me. That’s like fighting with ghosts.”
Frank, Anne (1929-1945) Jewish girl who died in WW II concentration camp; diary was published as The Diary of Anne Frank
In spite of everything, I still believe people are good at heart.”
‘Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.”
Gandhi, Indira (1917-1984) Prime Minister of India, assassinated in second term
“‘My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people; those who
do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first
group; there was much less competition.”
“You must learn to be still in the midst of activity, and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”
Graham, Katharine (1917-    ) Publisher
“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything else be more fun?”
Hale, Clara McBride (1905-1992) Founder of Hale House, a home in Harlem for infants born to drug-addicted mothers
“Being black does not stop you. You can sit out in the world and say, “ Well, white people kept me back, and I can’t do this. Not so. You can have anything you want if you make up your mind and you want it.”
Hepburn, Katharine (1909-2003) American actress, winner of 4 Academy Awards
“I can remember walking as a child. It was not customary to say you were fatigued. It was customary to complete the goal of the expedition.’
Keller, Helen (1880-1968) American disabled achiever
“Keep your face to the sunshine, and you cannot see the shadows.”
“I thank God for my handicaps, for through them, I have found myself, my work, and my God.”
Morrow Lindbergh, Anne (1906-2001) American author of Gift of the Sea
“Only in growth, reform and change, paradoxically enough, is true security found.”
Landers, Ann (1918-2002) Advice columnist
“Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself the most comforting words of all: This, too, shall pass.”
Loren, Sophia (1934-    ) Italian actress
“Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.”
Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549) Queen of Navarre, poet, author and religious reformer
“Some are much more ashamed of confessing a sin than of committing it.”
Mead, Margaret (1901-1978) American anthropologist and author
“It is impossible to separate attitude from action and say which is primary.”
“The traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left
his own doorstep.”
“We are living beyond our means. As a people, we have developed a life style that is
draining the earth of its priceless and irreplaceable resources without regard for the
future of our children and people all around the world.”
Meir, Golda (1898-1978) Prime Minister of Israel, and one of founders of the State of Israel
“I can honestly say that I was never affected by the question of the success of an undertaking.”    
“If I felt it was the right thing to do, I was for it regardless of the possible outcome.”
Moses, Grandma (1860-1961) American folk artist, began painting at age 76
“Life is what we make it; always has been, always will be.”
Mother Teresa (1910-1998?) Founder of the Missionaries of Charity; Nobel Peace Prize winner
“I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.”
“I do not pray for success. I ask for faithfulness.”
O’Connor, Sandra Day (1930-    ) First woman to sit on U.S. Supreme Court
“We pay a price when we deprive children of the exposure to the values, principles
and education they need to make them good citizens.”
Parks, Rosa (1913-2005) Black woman who refused to give her bus seat to a white man, thus igniting the Montgomery bus boycott and furthering the cause of the Civil Rights movement in America
“I’m just an average citizen. Many black people before me were arrested for defying the bus laws.   They prepared the way. ‘
Pickford, Mary (1893-1979) American actress
“Failure isn’t falling down. It’s staying down.”
Roosevelt, Eleanor (1884-1962) First Lady, humanitarian, and U.N. diplomat
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
“It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.”
Rubenstein, Helena (1870-1965) American businesswoman
“I believe in hard work. It keeps the wrinkles out of the mind and the spirit. It helps to keep a woman young.”
Smith, Margaret Chase (1897-1995) American Congresswoman and Senator from Maine
“I believe that in our constant search for security we can never gain any peace of mind until we secure our own soul.”
Stanton, Elizabeth Cady (1815-1902) President of National Woman Suffrage Association and champion of antislavery and temperance movements
“Nothing strengthens the judgment and quickens the conscience like individual responsibility.”
Steinem, Gloria (1936-    ) Campaigner for women’s rights, journalist, lecturer and television personality
“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn.”
Stowe, Harriet Beecher (1811-1896) Author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and social critic
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, ‘til it seems you can’t hang on a minute longer, never give up; for that’s just the place and time the tide will turn.”
“The bittersweet tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
Thatcher, Margaret (1925-    ) First English woman Prime Minister, become known as “Iron Lady”
“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”
“What is success? I think it is a mixture of having a flair for the thing that you are doing; knowing that it is not enough, that you have got to have hard work and a certain sense of purpose.”
Tubman, Harriet (1820-1913) Humanitarian, slave who escaped through the Underground Railroad and lead over 300 slaves to freedom
“I had reasoned this out in my mind, there were two things I had a right to: liberty and death. If I could not have one, I would have the other, for no man would take me alive.”
Van Buren, Abigail (1918-    ) American advice columnist
“People who fight fire with fire usually end up with ashes.”
“If you want a place in the sun, you’ve got to put up with a few blisters.”
Vanderbilt, Amy (1908-1974) American author
“One face to the world, another at home makes for misery.”
Washington, Martha (1732-1802) First Lady of the U.S
“I have learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”
Wilcox, Ella Wheeler (1855-1919) American journalist and poet
“Tis easy enough to be pleasant, when life flows along like a song; But the one worthwhile is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.”
Winfrey, Oprah (1954-    ) American talk show host, producer and actress
“Follow your instincts. That’s where true wisdom manifests itself.”
“I think that education is power. I think that being able to communicate with people is power.”
“One of my main goals on the planet is to encourage people to empower themselves.”
Zaharias, Babe Didrikson (1914-1956) Great American sportswoman in basketball, track and golf. Olympic gold medal winner
“All of my life I’ve always had the urge to do things better than anybody else.”
© Copyright 2008. Meiss Education Institute. All rights reserved.

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