15 Literary Quotes To Give You Hope

by Charlotte Ahlin
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Well. Here we are, America. Setting aside the slim possibility that the Electoral College comes to their collective senses, or someone invents time travel before January, or an asteroid smashes into Earth and destroys all lifeforms, Donald Trump is going to be our next president. That is what is (almost certainly) going to happen. And the majority of Americans are disgusted and legitimately frightened by this eventuality. So. Where do we go from here? I think we should all take a cue from President Barack "Please-Don't-Leave-Us" Obama, and continue to have hope. Here are a few literary quotes about hope, because we're going to need it if we want to keep moving forward.

To be clear, I don't think "having hope" is the only thing we should be doing right now. I think we should be donating to organizations that fight hate. I think we should volunteer, and read, and also that we should be kind to ourselves and to others. I think that we should very seriously look into all the existing science on time travel (DM me if you have a working time machine and/or access to a large asteroid).

But while we do all those things, we should also continue to hope for a brighter tomorrow. It can't hurt, right?

1. It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

2. There is some good in this world, and it's worth fighting for.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

3. Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die Life is a broken-winged bird, That cannot fly.

― Langston Hughes, The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes

4. We can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

—George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

5. Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming— well, that's like saying you can never change your fate.

― Amy Tan, The Hundred Secret Senses

6. Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

― Neil Gaiman, Coraline

7. Culture and education are the lethal weapons against all kinds of fundamentalism.

― Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return

8. The impatient idealist says: “Give me a place to stand and I shall move the earth.” But such a place does not exist. We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace.

— Chinua Achebe, No Longer at Ease

9. To love. To be loved. To never forget your own insignificance. To never get used to the unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue beauty to its lair. To never simplify what is complicated or complicate what is simple. To respect strength, never power. Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look away. And never, never to forget.

—Arundhati Roy, The Cost of Living

10. Fantasy. Lunacy. All revolutions are, until they happen, then they are historical inevitabilities.

― David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

11. I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

—Frank Herbert, Dune

12. Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.

― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

13. Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — "God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

—Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

14. Strange as it may seem, I still hope for the best, even though the best, like an interesting piece of mail, so rarely arrives, and even when it does it can be lost so easily.

― Lemony Snicket, The Beatrice Letters

15. You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.

― Maya Angelou, Letter to My Daughter

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