Words That Matter

Published: June 15, 2020

By Jim Lichtman
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During the times that try our souls, inspiring wisdom is needed more than ever. Perhaps it’s time to remind ourselves of those who, by their words, encourage us to live out of our better angels.

Photo: Craig Rattle/AP

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“To sensible men, every day is a day of reckoning.” — John W. Gardner

“Courage is being scared to death — and saddling up anyway.”  — John Wayne

“Do not hurt your neighbor, for it is not him you harm, but yourself.” — Shawnee Proverb

“Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means. – Ronald Reagan

“Good words do not last long until they amount to something.” — Chief Joseph

“We can’t become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” — Oprah Winfrey

“The color of the skin makes no difference. What is good and just for one is good and just for the other, and the Great Spirit made all men brothers. It is not the color of the skin that makes me good or bad.” — White Shield, Cheyenne

“I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice based on sexual orientation.” — Coretta Scott King

“There are many problems, but I think there is a solution to all these problems; it’s education.” – Malala Yousafzai

“The highest result of education is tolerance.” — Helen Keller

“Protesting is good, but healing is better. We need to see America heal.” – Alveda King

“Never reach out a hand unless you are willing to extend an arm.” — Pope Paul VI

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” — Jesse Jackson

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” – The Dali Lama

“We must become the change we want to see.” — Mohandas Gandhi

“Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field and patriot grave to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.” – Abraham Lincoln


  1. They all are great quotes Jim. Wonderful how just a few words can challenge us to be better people. Jesse’s resonated most with me today: “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.”

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