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  HOME WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS GIFTS OF IDEAS LEAD LIKE JESUSABOUT  
 
 
 
 
   

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Gifts of Ideas
 
     
 
Meiss Education Institute

Gifts of Ideas for Young People
By Rich Meiss

Over the years, I have been inspired by the wisdom of many great people who offer insights and ideas for the young and the young of heart. I have kept a collection of their quotes and words. These people have included presidents, theologians, authors, poets, politicians, statesmen, civil rights leaders and first ladies. 
 
I hope that these words will inspire you to live a life with courage and purpose. And in Winston Churchill words… “never, never, never give up”.   Never give up striving to become the best you.
 
 
Aesop – Storyteller, author of Aesop’s Fables
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
 
Bennett, James Gordon – Publisher
“I have made mistakes, but I have never made the mistake of claiming that I never made one.”
 
Bonnell, John Sutherland – New York Presbyterian Preacher
“Many people fail because they are perpetually trying to be somebody else. All God asks of us is what we have and what we are.”
 
Brown, John Mason – American drama critic, author
“The joy of living comes from immersion in something that we know to be bigger, better, more enduring and worthier than we are.”
 
Browning, Robert – English poet and playwright
“A man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
 
Bryan, William Jennings – Politician, orator and lawyer
“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.”
 
Buck, Pearl – American writer, Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winner
“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”
 
Burnham, Daniel – American architect and urban planner
“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir the blood.”
 
Carnegie, Andrew – Founder Carnegie Steel Company, philanthropist
“Do your duty and a little bit more, and the future will take care of itself.”
 
Carnegie, Dale – American writer and lecturer
“Happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends upon what you think.”

Channing, William Ellery – Unitarian theologian
“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage. The human spirit grows strong by conflict.”
 
Chrysler, Walter – American automobile pioneer
“The real secret of success is enthusiasm. Yes, more than enthusiasm, I would say excitement. I like to see people get excited. When they get excited they make a success of their lives.”
 
Churchill, Sir Winston – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“Never, never, never give up.”
 
Colton, Charles Caleb – English cleric, writer and collector
“Times of general calamity and confusion produce great minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storms.”
 
Coppin, Fanny Jackson – African American educator and missionary
“Good manners will often take people where neither money nor education will take them.”
 
Cousins, Norman – Political journalist, author, professor
“Assume responsibility for the quality of your own life.”
 
Cuomo, Mario – Governor, New York
“We have for a full lifetime taught our children to be go-getters. Can we now say to them that if they want to be happy, they must be go-givers?”
 
Disraeli, Benjamin – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.”
 
Edison, Thomas Alva – Inventor
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
 
Edwards, Tryon – American theologian
“Seek happiness for its own sake, and you will not find it; seek for duty, and happiness will follow as the shadow comes with the sunshine.”
 
Emerson, Ralph Waldo – American philosopher and poet
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
“Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.”
 
Farley, James – American politician
“The best advice I can give to any young man or young woman upon graduation from school can be summed up in exactly eight words: Be honest with yourself and tell the truth.”
 
Feather, William – American publisher and author
“An education isn’t how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It’s being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don’t. It’s knowing where to go to find out what you need to know; and it’s knowing how to use the information you get.”
 
Franklin, Benjamin – One of the founding fathers of the USA, inventor, author, politician
“The secret of success is constancy of purpose.”
 
Gandhi, Mohandas – Political and spiritual leader of India
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.”
 
Gilbert, Arland – Writer
“When we accept tough jobs as a challenge to our ability and wade into them with joy and enthusiasm, miracles can happen. When we do our work with a dynamic conquering spirit, we get things done.”
 
Harding, Warren G. –29th President of the United States
“A diploma is not a certificate of right to special favor and profit in the world but rather a commission of service.”
 
Highet, Gilbert – Scottish American literary historian
“Learning is a natural pleasure, inborn and instinctive, one of the earliest pleasures and one of the essential pleasures of the human race. Learning means keeping the mind open and active to receive all kinds of experience.”
 
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr. – US Supreme Court Justice
“Where we stand is not as important as the direction in which we are moving.”
 
Holtz, Lou – NCAA football and NFL head coach
“Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn’t make me stronger.”
 
Hubbard, Elbert – American writer, artist, philosopher
“Be yourself and think for yourself; and while your conclusions may not be infallible, they will be nearer right than the conclusions forced upon you.”
 
James, William – Psychologist and philosopher
“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”
 
Keller, Helen – Author, activist and lecturer
“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
 
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
 
Kennedy, John F. – 35th President of the United States
“I ask you to decide, as Goethe put it, whether you will be an anvil or a hammer. The question is whether you are to be a hammer – whether you are to give to the world in which you were reared and educated the broadest possible benefits of that education.”
 
Kennedy, Robert – US Attorney General and NY Senator
“Each of us makes a difference. It is from numberless acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped.”
 
Lincoln, Abraham – 16th President of the United States
“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
 
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth – American poet
“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.”
 
Lowell, James Russell – Minister and poet
 “Not failure, but low aim, is the crime.”
 
Mann, Louis L. – Author
“What happens to us is less significant than what happens within us.”
 
Mansfield, Katherine – New Zealand modernist writer
“Could we change our attitude, we should not only see life differently, but life itself would come to be different. Life would undergo a change of appearance because we ourselves had undergone a change in attitude.”
 
Mary I - Queen of England 
“Life is made up of loyalty – loyalty to your friends; loyalty to things beautiful and good; loyalty to the country which you love; and, above all, for this holds all other loyalties together, loyalty to God.”
 
Mays, Benjamin – African American minister, scholar, educator
“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”
 
Miller, Henry – American writer and painter
“We create our fate every day. Most of the ills we suffer from are directly traceable to our own behavior.”
 
More, Hannah – English religious writer and philanthropist
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”
 
Morley, Christopher – American journalistnovelist, and poet
“There are three ingredients in the good life: learning, earning, and yearning.”
 
Moses, Grandma – American folk artist
“Life is what we make it. Always has been. Always will be.”
 
Newman, Ernest – English music critic
“The great composer does not set to work because he is inspired but becomes inspired because he is working. Beethove, Waner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration.”
 
Newton, Joseph Fort – Minister and mason
 “Hope much, fear not at all, love with all your heart, do your best, and seek the best in others.”
 
Niebuhr, Reinhold – Protestant theologian
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”
        
Nietzsche, Friedrich – German philosopher
“He who has a “why” to live for can bear almost any “how.””
 
Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy – Wife of US President John F. Kennedy
“An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding.”
 
Pasteur, Louis – French chemist
“May you have the immense happiness of knowing that you have contributed in some way to the progress and to the good of humanity.”
 
Peale, Norman Vincent – Protestant preacher and author
“Ask the God who made you to keep remaking you.”
 
Pusey, Nathan M. – American educator
“We live in a time of such rapid change and growth of knowledge that only a person who continues to learn and inquire can hope to keep pace.”
 
Rickenbacker, Eddie –World War 1 fighter ace
“Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.”
 
Ronstadt, Linda – American popular vocalist and entertainer
“The thing you have to be prepared for is that other people don’t always dream your dream.”
 
Roosevelt, Eleanor – Wife of US President Franklin D Roosevelt
“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
 
Roosevelt, Franklin D. – 32nd President of the United States
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
 
Rubinstein, Arthur – Polish-American pianist
“If you love life, life will love you back.”
 
Sadat, Anwar – President of Egypt
“In the power to change yourself is the power to change the world around you.”
 
Sarnoff, David – Pioneer of American radio and television 
“A life that hasn’t a definite plan is likely to become driftwood.”
 
Schweitzer, Albert – Physician and philosopher
“The only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.”
 
Shakespeare, William – English poet and playwright
“This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow then, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
 
Shaw, George Bernard – Irish playwright
“This is true joy of life – being used for a purpose that is recognized by yourself as a mighty one.”
 
Sheen, Bishop Fulton J. – American archbishop
“Any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Joy is independent of external circumstances, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God.”
 
Socrates – Ancient Greek philosopher
“To move the world, we must first move ourselves.”
 
Spinoza, Baruch – Dutch philosopher
“To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
 
Stallone, Sylvester – American Actor
“I am not the smartest or most talented person in the world, but I succeeded because I kept going, and going, and going.”
 
Thatcher, Margaret – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
“I do not know anyone who reached the top without hard work. That’s the recipe. It will not always get you to the top but should get you pretty near.”
 
Thomas, Danny – Comedian and actor
 “Success is not built on what we accomplish for ourselves. Its foundation lies in what we do for others.”
 
Thoreau, Henry David – American author, naturalist
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
 
Twain, Mark – American writer and humorist
“The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer up somebody else.”
 
Washington, Booker T. – American educator and author
“Success isn’t measured by the position you reach in life; it’s measured by the obstacles you overcome.”
 
West, Mae – American actress and screenwriter
“Everything’s in the mind. That’s where it all starts. Knowing what you want is the first step toward getting it.”
 
 
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