- Quote: “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”
- Answer: Few books on the art of simplicity and minimalism have remained as timeless as Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden; or, Life in the Woods,” which he wrote while living mostly alone in the Massachusetts woods on the edge of Walden Pond. His works created inspiration for many leaders born after him, especially on topics like civil disobedience, and nonviolent resistance. His writing is often credited for helping spark the modern environmental preservation movement.
- Quote: “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
- Answer: This well-known, oft-repeated quote comes of course from author, activist, and political leader Eleanor Roosevelt. While serving as the First Lady after the election of her husband, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, she promoted the policies of the New Deal. After the president’s death, the First Lady went on to serve in the United Nations, spending much of her life working on issues around equality and human rights.
- Quote: “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
You may also like: Famous moments in magazine history from the year you were born
- Answer: Writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou had a huge impact on American literature and culture. Her most famous book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” is an autobiographical tale of her life and experiences growing up in the South and speaks to the effects of racial prejudice. Among many accomplishments, Angelou received the National Book Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
- Quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
- Answer: Mary Oliver spent her entire life not only writing but living her poetry. The above line from her poem, “The Summer Day,” is a clear window into how she worked to maintain, and acknowledge the presence of the remarkable. Born in Ohio, Oliver spent most of her later years on Cape Cod where she wrote at length about the natural beauty which surrounded her. Oliver died in 2019 at age 83.
- Quote: “Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.”
- Answer: George Carlin said what people needed to hear in blunt, beautiful, and often highly inappropriate statements. Nevertheless, Carlin’s taboo humor and writing held deep wisdom that attracted countless fans. A critic of American systems, and just about every system, Carlin espoused his philosophies through comedic performances and a number of books.
You may also like: Famous works of art from 30 countries around the world