What is possible?  What could happen?  What are some alternatives to current reality, or to our current limited imagined futures?  Here are some quotes about possibility to ponder.

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One’s only rival is one’s own potentialities. One’s only failure is failing to live up to one’s own possibilities.

— Abraham Maslow

When a woman tells the truth she is creating the possibility for more truth around her.

— Adrienne Rich

Those who can imagine anything, can create the impossible.

— Alan Turing

Anger is not a sustainable emotion in and of itself. It has to be transformed into a deep love for the possibility of who we can be.

— Alicia Garza

Most of the things about which we make decisions, and into which therefore we inquire, present us with alternative possibilities.

— Aristotle

The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.

— Arthur C. Clarke

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

— Arundhati Roy

Nothing is impossible; the word itself says “I’m possible!”

— Audrey Hepburn

So long as a man imagines that he cannot do this or that, so long as he is determined not to do it; and consequently so long as it is impossible to him that he should do it.

— Baruch Spinoza

The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is – it’s to imagine what is possible.

— bell hooks

Marginality [is] much more than a site of deprivation. In fact I was saying just the opposite: that it is also the site of radical possibility, a space of resistance.

— bell hooks

Understanding marginality as position and place of resistance is crucial for oppressed, exploited, colonized people. If we only view the margin as sign, marking the condition of our pain and deprivation, then a certain hopelessness and despair, a deep nihilism penetrates in a destructive way the very ground of our being. It is there in that space of collective despair that one’s creativity, one’s imagination is at risk, there that one’s mind is fully colonized, there that the freedom one longs for is lost.

— bell hooks

Philosophy is to be studied, not for the sake of any definite answers to its questions, since no definite answers can, as a rule, be known to be true, but rather for the sake of the questions themselves; because these questions enlarge our conception of what is possible, enrich our intellectual imagination and diminish the dogmatic assurance which closes the mind against speculation; but above all because, through the greatness of the universe which philosophy contemplates, the mind is also rendered great, and becomes capable of that union with the universe which constitutes its highest good.

— Bertrand Russell

[T]he door that nobody else will go in at, seems always to swing open widely for me.

— Clara Barton

When I open my eyes in the morning, I am not confronted by the world, but by a million possible worlds.

— Colin Wilson

This accidental
meeting of possibilities
calls itself I.

I ask: what am I doing here?
And, at once, this I
becomes unreal.

— Dag Hammarskjöld

Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

— Dale Turner

You rarely achieve finality. If you did, life would be over, but as you strive new visions open before you, new possibilities for the satisfaction of living.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

It may well be that our means are fairly limited and our possibilities restricted when it comes to applying pressure on our government. But is this a reason to do nothing? Despair is nor an answer. Neither is resignation. Resignation only leads to indifference, which is not merely a sin but a punishment

— Elie Wiesel

Always continue the climb. It is possible for you to do whatever you choose, if you first get to know who you are and are willing to work with a power that is greater than ourselves to do it.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I dwell in possibility…

— Emily Dickinson

[T]he test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise. This philosophy fitted on to my early adult life, when I saw the improbable, the implausible, often the “impossible” come true.

— F. Scott Fitzgerald

I’m neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am a dyed-in-the-wool possibilist! By this, I mean with an eco-mind, we see that everything’s connected and change is the only constant.

— Frances Moore Lappé

Feet, what do I need them for if I have wings to fly.

— Frido Kahlo

A thought, even a possibility, can shatter and transform us.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’

— George Bernard Shaw

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

— Gloria Steinem

I have met brave women who are exploring the outer edge of human possibility, with no history to guide them, and with a courage to make themselves vulnerable that I find moving beyond words.

— Gloria Steinem

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

— Golda Meir

To understand what a person is, it is necessary always to refer to what he may be in the future, for every state of the person is pointed in the direction of future possibilities.

— Gordon W. Allport, Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality

Rebellion against your handicaps gets you nowhere. Self-pity gets you nowhere. One must have the adventurous daring to accept oneself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the most interesting game in the world — making the most of one’s best.

— Harry Emerson Fosdick

There are incalculable resources in the human spirit, once it has been set free.

— Hubert H. Humphrey

Right time, right place, right people equals success.
Wrong time, wrong place, wrong people equals most of the real human history.

— Idries Shah, Reflections

If nature has taught us anything it is that the impossible is probable.

— Ilyas Kassam

Poetry is man’s rebellion against being what he is.

— James Branch Cabell

What after all, has maintained the human race on this old globe despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not faith in new possibilities, and courage to advocate them?

— Jane Addams

The bounds of human possibility are not as confining as we think they are; they are made to seem to be tight by our weaknesses, our vices, our prejudices that confine them.

— Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If someone says can’t, that shows you what to do.

— John Cage

Politics has always been the art of the possible. Today it’s too often the art of the probable — tinkering around the edges without any greater vision, without a sense of optimism and imagination.

— John Kerry

The thing the sixties did was to show us the possibilities and the responsibility that we all had. It wasn’t the answer. It just gave us a glimpse of the possibility.

— John Lennon

All the possibilities of your human destiny are asleep in your soul. You are here to realize and honor these possibilities. When love comes in to your life, unrecognized dimensions of your destiny awaken and blossom and grow. Possibility is the secret heart of time.

— John O’Donohue

The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious.

— John Sculley

Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.

— Jonathan Swift

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.

— Jonathan Swift

Possibility is not a luxury; it is as crucial as bread.

— Judith Butler, Undoing Gender

Indiscretions can lead to great lessons.

— Julieanne O’Connor

What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love.

— Leonard Cohen

Everything is possible, but where can I find everything?!

— Ljupka Cvetanova, The New Land

Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.

— Louis Brandeis
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