150 Quotes by Eleanor Roosevelt

Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, stands as an influential and transformative figure in American history. Beyond her role as First Lady, she was a tireless advocate for civil rights, human rights, and social justice. Known for her intelligence, compassion, and strong sense of duty, Eleanor used her platform to address issues ranging from racial equality to women's rights.

She held press conferences, wrote newspaper columns, and championed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations. Her ability to connect with people from all walks of life, along with her commitment to bettering society, made her a beloved and respected figure both in the United States and internationally. Eleanor Roosevelt's legacy continues to inspire those who strive for equality and the betterment of society through empathy and action.

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Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

You'll be "damned if you do, and damned if you don't." (Meaning)

The choices we make are ultimately our responsibility. (Quote Meaning)

Poverty is an expensive luxury. We cannot afford it. (Meaning)

The only joy in this hard life is serving others. (Quote Meaning)

There is nothing to fear except fear it's self. (Meaning)

No one can insult you without your permission. (Quote Meaning)

Actors are one family over the entire world. (Meaning)

Some friends leave footprints in your heart (Quote Meaning)

Be flexible, but stick to your principles. (Meaning)

Every day do something that frightens you. (Quote Meaning)

Friendship with oneself is all important. (Meaning)

Absence makes the heart grow fonder (Quote Meaning)

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Understanding is a two-way street. (Meaning)

I never waste time looking back. (Quote Meaning)

Life is meant to be lived. (Meaning)

Be confident, not certain (Quote Meaning)

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.' (Meaning)

The giving of love is an education in itself. (Quote Meaning)

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. (Meaning)

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. (Quote Meaning)

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

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. (Meaning)

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. (Quote Meaning)

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

We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face... we must do that which we think we cannot.

A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. (Meaning)

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.

The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. (Quote Meaning)

If human beings can be trained for cruelty and greed and a belief in power which comes through hate and fear and force, certainly we can train equally well for greatness and mercy and the power of love which comes because of the strength of the good qualities to be found in the soul of every human being.

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.

True patriotism springs from a belief in the dignity of the individual, freedom and equality not only for Americans but for all people on earth, universal brotherhood and good will, and a constant and earnest striving toward the principles and ideals on which this country was founded.

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

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

Do one thing every day that scares you. (Meaning)

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

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

When you 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.'

I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday. (Quote Meaning)

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.

Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home.

Caring comes from being able to put yourself in the position of the other person.

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

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

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

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. When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else . . . you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. (Meaning)

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan. (Quote Meaning)

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. (Meaning)

I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.

For our own success to be real, it must contribute to the success of others.

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. 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.

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

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die. (Quote Meaning)

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.

Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world. (Meaning)

One of the best ways of enslaving a people is to keep them from education... The second way of enslaving a people is to suppress the sources of information, not only by burning books but by controlling all the other ways in which ideas are transmitted.

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 is own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

Never allow a person to tell you no who doesn't have the power to say yes.

Anger is one letter short of danger. (Quote Meaning)

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. (Meaning)

You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude

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

Courage is more exhilarating than fear and in the long run it is easier. We do not have to become heroes over night. Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up, seeing it is not as dreadful as it appeared, discovering we have the strength to stare it down.

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

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. Anger is only one letter short of danger. If someone betrays you once, it is his fault; if he betrays you twice, it is your fault. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. He who loses money, loses much; he who loses a friend, loses much more; he who loses faith, loses all.

Without equality there can be no democracy.

I believe that anyone can conquer fear by doing the things he fears to do, provided he keeps doing them until he gets a record of successful experience behind him.

If you lose money you lose much, If you lose friends you lose more, If you lose faith you lose all.

Sometimes I wonder if we shall ever grow up in our politics and say definite things which mean something, or whether we shall always go on using generalities to which everyone can subscribe, and which mean very little.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility. (Quote Meaning)

A number of people still think of the United States as being overwhelmingly English, Protestant, and white. This erroneous idea influences their whole outlook.

Basically we could not have peace, or an atmosphere in which peace could grow, unless we recognized the rights of individual human beings... their importance, their dignity... and agreed that was the basic thing that had to be accepted throughout the world.

Education is the cornerstone of liberty.

Courage is more exhilarating than fear, and in the long run, it is easier.

We will have to want peace, want it enough to pay for it, before it becomes an accepted rule.

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. (Meaning)

Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be.

Poor minds talk about people average minds talk about events great minds talk about ideas

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must not, for whatever reason, turn his back on life." Another "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.

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.

Only a man's character is the real criterion of worth.

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

Some people are going to leave a mark on this world, while others will leave a stain.

When you adopt the standards and the values of someone else … you surrender your own integrity. You become, to the extent of your surrender, less of a human being.

We are given in our newspapers and on TV and radio exactly what we, the public, insist on having, and this very frequently is mediocre information and mediocre entertainment.

Life is like a parachute jump, you've got to get it right the first time.

I can't tell you how to succeed, but I can tell you how to fail: Try to please everybody.

Justice cannot be for one side alone, but must be for both.

The future is literally in our hands to mold as we like. But we cannot wait until tomorrow. Tomorrow is now. (Quote Meaning)

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.

Today is the oldest you've ever been, and the youngest you'll ever be again.

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself. (Meaning)

Do not stop thinking of life as an adventure. You have no security unless you can live bravely, excitingly, imaginatively; unless you can choose a challenge instead of competence.

Since everybody is an individual, nobody can be you. You are unique. No one can tell you how to use your time. It is yours. Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by doing the thing which you think you cannot do.

It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know.

You must do the things you think you cannot do. (Quote Meaning)

Power corrupts. Knowledge is power. Study hard. Be evil.

All of life is a constant education.

All of us in this country give lip service to the ideals set forth in the Bill of Rights and emphasized by every additional amendment, and yet when war is stirring in the world, many of us are ready to curtail our civil liberties. We do not stop to think that curtailing these liberties may in the end bring us a greater danger than the danger we are trying to avert.

Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!

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

a society in which there is widespread economic insecurity can turn freedom into a barren and vapid right for millions of people.

Each generation supposes that the world was simpler for the one before it.

We will never have peace without friendship around the world.

On the whole our armed services have been doing pretty well in the way of keeping us defended, but I hope our State Department will remember that it is really the department of achieving peace.

The destiny of human rights is in the hands of all our citizens in all our communities.

I think if the people of this country can be reached with the truth, their judgment will be in favor of the many, as against the privileged few

What could we accomplish if we knew we could not fail? (Meaning)

Think as little as possible about yourself and as much as possible about other people.

Before we can make friends with anyone else, we must first make friends with ourselves.

Of course, I do not believe in having everyone who is a liberal called a communist, or everyone who is conservative called a fascist.

If we want a free and peaceful world, if we want to make the deserts bloom and man grow to greater dignity as a human being - we can do it.

The trouble is that not enough people have come together with the firm determination to live the things which they say they believe.

The greatest tragedy of old age is the tendency for the old to feel unneeded, unwanted, and of no use to anyone; the secret of happiness in the declining years is to remain interested in life, as active as possible, useful to others, busy, and forward looking.

You never know anyone until you marry them.

The only advantage of not being too good a housekeeper is that your guests are so pleased to feel how very much better they are.

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.

We must preserve our right to think and differ.

It is a curious thing in human experience, but to live through a period of stress and sorrow with another person, creates a bond which nothing seems able to break.

The war for freedom will never really be won because the price of freedom is constant vigilance over ourselves and over our Government.

One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In stopping to think through the meaning of what I have learned, there is much that I believe intensely, much I am unsure of. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.... The danger lies in refusing to face the fear, in not daring to come to grips with it. If you fail anywhere along the line it will take away your confidence. You must make yourself succeed every time. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. (Quote Meaning)

No human being can ever "own" another, whether in friendship, love, marriage or parenthood. Many human relationships have been ruined and happiness far too often changed to misery by a failure to understand this.

Your life is your own. You mold it. You make it. All anyone can do is to point out ways and means which have been helpful to others. Perhaps they will serve as suggestions to stimulate your own thinking until you know what it is that will fulfill you, will help you to find out what you want to do with your life.

It is not that you set the individual apart from society but that you recognize in any society that the individual must have rights that are guarded.

Comparison is the thief of all joy. (Meaning)

The word liberal comes from the word free. We must cherish and honor the word free or it will cease to apply to us.

No human being can ever 'own' another, whether in friendship, love, marriage, or parenthood.

The things you refuse to meet today always come back at you later on, usually under circumstances which make the decision twice as difficult as it originally was.

This is a time for action — not for war, but for mobilization of every bit of peace machinery.

For all of us, as we grow older, perhaps the most important thing is to keep alive our love of others and to believe that our love and interest are as vitally necessary to them as to us. This is what makes us keep on growing and refills the fountains of energy.

Your ambition should be to get as much life out of living as you possibly can, as much enjoyment, as much interest, as much experience, as much understanding. Not simply be what is generally called a 'success.'

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product. For what keeps our interest in life and makes us look forward to tomorrow is giving pleasure to other people.

The battle for the individual rights of women is one of long standing and none of us should countenance anything which undermines it. (Quote Meaning)

To leave the world richer—that is the ultimate success.

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

Philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes.

America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, bad-ass speed. (Meaning)

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

Courage is exhilarating.

Every time you meet a situation you think at the time it is an impossibility and you go through the tortures of the damned, once you have met it and lived through it, you find that forever after you are freer than you were before.

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.

What you don't do can be a destructive force.

Develop a skin as thick as a rhinoceros hide!

If the use of leisure time is confined to looking at TV for a few extra hours every day, we will deteriorate as a people.

The kind of man who thinks that helping with the dishes is beneath him will also think that helping with the baby is beneath him, and then he certainly is not going to be a very successful father.

The mind must be trained, rather than the memory.

It is a brave thing to have 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 very next thing you need to be doing is the thing that terrifies you the most.

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.

Nothing we learn in this world is ever wasted.

Success is not something that can be measured or worn on a watch or hung on a wall. It is not the esteem of colleagues, or the admiration of the community, or the appreciation of patients. Success is the certain knowledge that you have become yourself, the person you will meant to be from all time. That should be reward enough.

Do something everyday that scares you. (Quote Meaning)

The more we simplify our material needs the more we are free to think of other things.

A great deal of fear is a result of just “not knowing.” We do not know what is involved in a new situation. We do not know whether we can deal with it. The sooner we learn what it entails, the sooner we can dissolve our fear.

Most of the work that's done in the world gets done by people who weren't feeling all that well at the time that they did it.

We must know what we think and speak out, even at the risk of unpopularity.

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.

What I have learned from my own experience is that the most important ingredients in a child's education are curiosity, interest, imagination, and a sense of the adventure of life.

First of my own personal requirements is inner calm. This, I think, is an essential. One of the secrets of using your time well is to gain a certain ability to maintain peace within yourself so that much can go on around you and you can stay calm inside.

― Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

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Tal Gur is an author, founder, and impact-driven entrepreneur at heart. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living, has led him to found Elevate Society.

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