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25 Uplifting Quotes to Live By

Little Women, with the irrepressible Jo at its center and its neat little packages of wisdom from Marmie, feels as familiar and welcoming to me as a warm blanket and a cup of tea. And every year, when the first cool mornings come rolling in and I am required to wear a sweater, I get an uncontrollable urge to revisit my favorite comfort read.  Although there are so many great moments and lines to choose from, I’ve selected the most relevant quotes that feel like advice to live by.

On Staying the Course

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.”

“Love Jo all your days, if you choose, but don’t let it spoil you, for it’s wicked to throw away so many good gifts because you can’t have the one you want.”

“I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

“I want to do something splendid…something heroic or wonderful that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it and mean to astonish you all someday.”

“Be comforted, dear soul! There is always light behind the clouds.”

“Don’t cry so bitterly, but remember this day, and resolve with all your soul that you will never know another like it.”

How to Live

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well. Then youth will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success.”  

“Let us be elegant or die!”

“You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one…if he’s the right one.”

“…because talent isn’t genius, and no amount of energy can make it so. I want to be great, or nothing.”

“Take some books and read; that’s an immense help; and books are always good company if you have the right sort.”

“Now and then, in this workaday world, things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion, and what a comfort that is.”

“I like good strong words, that mean something.”

“Conceit spoils the finest genius.”

“I think she is growing up, and so begins to dream dreams, and have hopes and fears and fidgets, without knowing why or being able to explain them.”

“Don’t laugh at the spinsters, dear girls, for often very tender, tragic romances are hidden away in the hearts that beat so quietly under the sober gowns, and many silent sacrifices of youth, health, ambition, love itself, make the faded faces beautiful in God’s sight.”

“My dear girls, I am ambitious for you, but not to have you make a dash in the world, marry rich men merely because they are rich, or have splendid houses, which are not homes because love is wanting. Money is a needful and precious thing, and when well used, a noble thing, but I never want you to think it is the first or only prize to strive for. I’d rather see you poor men’s wives, if you were happy, beloved, contented, than queens on thrones, without self-respect and peace.”

Samesies (#storyofmylife)

“I’d rather take coffee than compliments right now.”

“I keep turning over new leaves, and spoiling them, as I used to spoil my copybooks; and I make so many beginnings there never will be an end.”

“She preferred imaginary heroes to real ones, because when tired of them, the former could be shut up in the tin kitchen till called for, and the latter were less manageable.”

“I am lonely, sometimes, but I dare say it’s good for me…”

“I could have been a great many things.”

“…and best of all, the wilderness of books, in which she could wander, where she liked, made the library a region of bliss to her.”

“I’m afraid I couldn’t like him without a spice of human naughtiness.”

“I wish I had no heart, it aches so…”


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