Following catastrophes like 9/11 or the Manchester Arena attack in May, even Kimmy Schmidt, fictional optimist extraordinaire, would struggle to keep a smile on her face. It may be a cliche, but "no news is good news" can feel painfully accurate when bombings, disasters, and politics are what we read about every day. Although a list of hopeful quotes isn't going to totally restore your faith in humanity on its own, it might be enough to remind you that people aren't total garbage. Sometimes, we're even pretty great. After all, we invented cat cafes, where you can drink coffee and adopt fluffy, purring kittens to your heart's content (or at least until friends and family stage an intervention). If that isn't proof that good exists in the world, I don't know what is.
Feline enthusiasm aside, 2017 has had its ups and downs — perhaps not as many disasters as 2016, but that's to be expected when competing against a time widely agreed to be the worst 12 months since the year My Chemical Romance broke up. It's been a rough year at times, but zeroing in on bad news is a one-way ticket to never wanting to get out of bed again. Positive thinking, on the other hand, is thought to improve your mental, and maybe even physical, health.
So in December, when you're looking back at 2017 from the passenger seat of your self-driving car, recognize the good as well as the bad. Here are 17 quotes to help with that.
1"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'"
2"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness."
3"The human being is born with an incurable capacity for making the best of things."
4"Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."
5"Choose to be optimistic, it feels better."
6"Compassion is a verb."
7"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it — always."
8"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. ... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival."
9"For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You'd be surprised how far that gets you."
10"There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness."
11"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too."
12"The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy."
13"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."
14"It's amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday."
15"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming."
16"We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming — well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate."
— Amy Tan