50+ Inspiring Service Quotes for VISTAs

14 Dec

Quotes can be a great way to motivate you when your VISTA days get rough. We asked VISTAs for their favorite quotes and compiled the list below. Here are 50 quotes to inspire your service:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

“The outrage of hunger amidst plenty will never be solved by “experts” somewhere. It will only be solved when people like you and me decide to act.”  ~ Frances Moore Lappe

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don’t mind, and those that mind, don’t matter.” ~ Dr. Seuss

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ~ William Shakespeare

“The only place where democracy comes before work is the dictionary.” ~ Donald Kendall

“One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitze

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr

“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than oppression
and discrimination half a block from home.” ~ Carl T. Rowan

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~ Mahatma Ghandi

‎”The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others” ~ DeAnn Hollis

“How wonderful it is that no one need wait a single moment before starting to change the world.” ~ Anne Frank

“One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people.” ~ Dick Gregory

“What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.” ~ George Eliot

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. ~Winston Churchill

“Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Please do not be cynical. I hate cynicism. It’s my least favorite quality. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.”
~ Conan O’Brien

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” ~ Chinese Proverb

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~Zora Neale Hurston

“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to sleep in a room with a mosquito.” ~ Anita Roddick

“They always say that things change with time. But actually you have to change things yourself.” ~ Andy Warhol

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~ Aesop

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but the one thing I know; the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” ~ Thomas Edison

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” ~ Mark Twain

“The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” ~ Gloria Steinem

“As you go through life, act in such a way as not to deprive others of happiness. Avoid giving sorrow to your fellow man, but to the contrary, see that you give him joy as often as you can.” ~ Sioux Proverb

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” ~ Pablo Picasso

“Volunteers aren’t paid, not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” ~ Anonymous

“Once a person steps into the circle of those who take responsibility for the happy operation of the community…the magic of community begins. ” ~ Dorothy Haddock

“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old, shared a little of what he is good at doing.” ~ Quincy Jones

“Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life. ” ~ Albert Einstein

“Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference. And we have a choice: What sort of difference do we want to make?” ~ Jane Goodall

“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others.” ~ George Shinn

“What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

“Talents are best nurtured in solitude; character is best formed in the stormy billows of the world.” ~ Goethe

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.” ~ Harvey Fierstein

“The future belongs to those who can give the next generation reasons to hope.” ~ Pierre Teilhard DeChardin

“Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves,  some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” ~ Sam Ewig

“When spider webs are woven together, they can tie up a lion.” ~ Ethiopian Proverb

“A feeling of inadequacy is therefore nothing to worry about. It is the way you should feel if you are learning.” ~ John T. Gage

“You should know that the education of the heart is very important. This will distinguish you from others. Educating oneself is easy, but educating ourselves to help other human beings to help the community is much more difficult.” ~ César E. Chávez

“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s tougher to make a difference.” ~ Tom Brokaw

“Circumstances determine our lives, but we shape our lives by what we make of our circumstances.” ~ Sir John Wheeler Bennet

“Give light and people will find the way. ” ~ Ella J. Baker

“From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.” ~ Arthur Ashe

“To make a difference is not a matter of accident, a matter of  casual occurrence of the tides. People choose to make a difference.” ~ Maya Angelou

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” ~ Anthony Robbins

“I know of no great men except those who have rendered great service to the human race.” ~ Voltaire

‎”When I was young I used to volunteer in a soup kitchen and they thought I was wonderful. When I asked why there were soup kitchens, they thought I was a radical.” ~ Senator Paul Wellstone

“Cause and effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope. To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on the future, on your desires, on the possibilities that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it’s the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.” ~ Rebecca Solnit

What are your favorite quotes? Comment below with the quotes that inspire your year of service.


One Response to “50+ Inspiring Service Quotes for VISTAs”

  1. Emily K January 4, 2011 at 12:34 pm #

    This is hands-down my favorite MLK Jr quote.

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Thanks for the great list!

    Conservation Corps North Bay

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