eleanor roosevelt quotes

50+ Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes About Life, Success, and Equality

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was an American politician, diplomat, activist, and United Nations spokeswoman. Married to Franklin D. Roosevelt, she served as the First Lady during his presidency in office from 1933-1945. Between 1906 to 1916, she gave birth to six children with Franklin, including one that died in infancy. In 1918, Eleanor filed for divorce from Franklin after discovering that he was having an affair. When he refused–fearing the loss of his political career–they agreed to endure their marriage with different routines, distance, and respect.  

She found the duties of a political wife to be boring, so she continued volunteering at the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. She also joined the Women’s Trade Union League and was active in the New York State Democratic Party. She scheduled conferences in the White House for female correspondents and was vocal about equal rights for women and racial minorities, child welfare, and housing reform. Shortly after Franklin died in 1945, she was appointed as a delegate to the United Nations where she served on the Commission on Human Rights from 1946 to 1951. She then died in 1962.

Saying that Eleanor Roosevelt was a passionate, vocal member fo the Democratic Party would be an understatement. She was a strong and capable woman, fighting for equal human rights. Her life can inspire anyone with a good heart and the utmost potentiality. 

Let these inspiring quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt serve as motivation, wisdom, and inspiration to step out of your comfort zone and go after your dreams. Let these quotes inspire you to live your life however you please. These famous quotes are so powerful that it just might sit with you for years to come:

eleanor roosevelt quotes

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes for Life and Character Building

“Have convictions. Be friendly. Stick to your beliefs as they stick to theirs. Work as hard as they do.”

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life. ”

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how the character is built.”

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.”

“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.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

“Do one thing every day that scares you.”

“People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously.”

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.”

“You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.”

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

“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.”

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.”

“A woman is like a teabag – you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right – for you’ll be criticized anyway.”

“No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.”

“It’s your life, but only if you make it so. The standards by which you live must be your own standards, your own values, your own convictions in regard to what is right and wrong, what is true and false, what is important and what is trivial.”

“It is a brave thing to have the courage to be an individual; it is also, perhaps, a lonely thing. But it is better than not being an individual, which is to be nobody at all.”

“The most unhappy people in the world are those who face the days without knowing what to do with their time. But if you have more projects than you have time for, you are not going to be an unhappy person. This is as much a question of having imagination and curiosity as it is of actually making plans.”

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes About Happiness, Love, and Friendship

“Enjoy every minute you have with those you love, my dear, for no one can take joy that is past away from you. It will be there in your heart to live on when the dark days come.”

“The basis of world peace is the teaching which runs through almost all the great religions of the world. Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

“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.”

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.”

“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.”

“Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important requirements for happiness. My answer was: A feeling that you have been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work; and the ability to love others.”

“You always admire what you really don’t understand.”

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product of a life well-lived.”

“Friendship with one’s self is all-important because without it one can not be friends with anyone else in the world.”

“If someone betrays you once, it’s their fault; if they betray you twice, it’s your fault.”

“We are afraid to care too much, for fear that the other person does not care at all.”

“The most important thing in any relationship is not what you get but what you give.”

“Love can often be misguided and do as much harm as good, but respect can do only good. It assumes that the other person’s stature is as large as one’s own, his rights as reasonable, his needs as important.”

“If anyone were to ask me what I want out of life I would say- the opportunity for doing something useful, for in no other way, I am convinced, can true happiness be attained.”

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes About Education, Equality, and Success

“Such are the places where every man, woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.”

“Men and women who live together through long years get to know one another’s failings, but they also come to know what is worthy of respect and admiration in those they live with and in themselves.” 

“Understanding is a two-way street.”

“Nothing has ever been achieved by the person who says, ‘It can’t be done.”

“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.”

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

“With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”

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.”

“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.”

“I am convinced that every effort must be made in childhood to teach the young to use their own minds. For one thing is sure: If they don’t make up their minds, someone will do it for them.”

“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.”

“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”

“When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted.”

“The giving of love is an education in itself.”

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.”

“A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader. A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.”

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

“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.”

“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.”

“As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.”

Other Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes 

“You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art. ”

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

“No one won the last war, and no one will win the next war.”

“Work is always an antidote to depression.”

“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.”

“I think that somehow, we learn who we really are and then live with that decision.”

“A stumbling block to the pessimist is a stepping-stone to the optimist.”

“When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.”

“Courage is exhilarating.”

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual you have an obligation to be one.”

“Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

“Never be bored, and you will never be boring.”

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”

“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.”

“Will people ever be wise enough to refuse to follow bad leaders or to take away the freedom of other people?”

“I could not at any age be content to take my place in a corner by the fireside and simply look on. ”

“Each of us has… all the time there is. Those years, weeks, hours, are the sands in the glass running swiftly away. To let them drift through our fingers is tragic waste. To use them to the hilt, making them count for something, is the beginning of wisdom.”

“To be mature you have to realize what you value most… Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.”

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January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer and a collective pen name. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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