two older adults sitting on a pier in the water, throwing leaves in the air

Quotations from many of the world’s notables about living a life, especially one that is meaningful, comforting, and emotionally rewarding.  Living a life is about more than physical existence, it is about how well one’s needs are met, how well one is able to live by one’s values.

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We imagine that we want to escape our selfish and commonplace existence, but we cling desperately to our chains.

— Anne Sullivan

Life is a process. We are a process. The universe is a process.

— Anne Wilson Schaef

Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.

— Annie Dillard

What if Life simply wants us to emerge into the awareness that we are already enough?

— Anonymous

One lives in the hope of becoming a memory.

— Antonio Porchia

Ethics should precede economics… We know this because we’ve seen the results of capitalism without conscience: the pollution of the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat; the endangerment of workers; and the sale of dangerous products — from cars to toys to drugs. All in pursuit of greater and greater profits.

— Arianna Huffington

Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.

— Audre Lorde

Art is not living. It is the use of living.

— Audre Lorde

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.

— Audre Lorde

Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.

— Audre Lorde

In our work and in our living, we must recognize that difference is a reason for celebration and growth, rather than a reason for destruction.

— Audre Lorde

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

— Barbara de Angelis

I live one day at a time. Each day I look for a kernel of excitement. In the morning, I say: ‘What is my exciting thing for today?’ Then, I do the day. Don’t ask me about tomorrow.

— Barbara Jordan

In my own worst seasons I’ve come back from the colorless world of despair by forcing myself to look hard, for a long time, at a single glorious thing: a flame of red geranium outside my bedroom window. And then another: my daughter in a yellow dress. And another: the perfect outline of a full, dark sphere behind the crescent moon. Until I learned to be in love with my life again. Like a stroke victim retraining new parts of the brain to grasp lost skills, I have taught myself joy, over and over again.

— Barbara Kingsolver

Wars and elections are both too big and too small to matter in the long run. The daily work — that goes on, it adds up.

— Barbara Kingsolver

Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every new year find you a better man.

— Benjamin Franklin

The beauty of life is not to live without facing trials, challenges, and difficult times. It is the ability to remain steady, secure, fixed, stable, strong, and unwavering that makes the difference.

— Benjamin Suulola

The cause of all our personal problems and nearly all the problems of the world can be summed up in a single sentence: Human life is very deep, and our modern dominant lifestyle is not.

— Bo Lozoff

Say Yes. Whatever it is, say yes with your whole heart & simple as it sounds that’s all the excuse life needs to grab you by the hands and start to dance.

— Brian Andreas

Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived.

— Captain Jean-Luc Picard (character in Star Trek)

Become who you are. Become all that you are. There is still more of you — more to be discovered, forgiven, and loved.

— Carl Jung

The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth, that there is no reason to deceive ourselves with pretty stories for which there’s little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and to be grateful every day for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides.

— Carl Sagan

Life is like an onion: You peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.

— Carl Sandburg

Our lives are like a candle in the wind.

— Carl Sandburg

We are all different, which is great because we are all unique. Without diversity, life would be very boring.

— Catherine Pulsifer

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

— Charles Darwin

I think I’ve discovered the secret of life — you just hang around until you get used to it.

— Charles Schultz

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?

— Charles Schulz

Leave oneself an open door, a free unconscious channel, for the deep rushing flood of life to pour through. To tell and tell forever humanity’s greatest secret — that each one is all the rest, and each one can do the world’s work. A calmness born of the immeasurable power that moves us. A rich Peace, seeing that life is good. A joy, deepening daily as we understand. And love — the love that all things live in — To feel it and give it. To give it. Give it. Give it everywhere.

— Charlotte Perkins Gilman

When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other.

— Chinese proverb
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