An open book and a mug of black coffee

5 Inspirational Quotes for 2020

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Everyone loves a good quote, and over on my Instagram page I share lots of quotes that have touched me or inspired me. There are quotes by everyone from Immanuel Kant to the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I also share nature photos and philosophy videos as part of the same page, so please take a look and follow me if it’s up your street.

In this post, I’m going to share five wonderful quotes that are really speaking to me at the moment. I’ll also provide a little commentary explaining why I like them. Let me know your thoughts in the comments, where I’d love for you to share one or two of your all-time favourite quotes. And be prepared that I might pinch some of them for my Insta feed if they inspire me, and if you don’t mind!

Quote 1:

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.

(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

This quote reminds me of my father. He has always been a closed book β€” a very private person, and there’s so much I don’t know about him. I believe he is harbouring a great deal of sadness which causes him to often be steely, cold, and snappy. And let’s face it, I’m like that sometimes, and we probably all are. I think this is a beautiful and true quote.

Quote 2:

Be tolerant with others and strict with yourself.

(Marcus Aurelius)

There is a widespread interest in the philosophy of Stoicism these days, and Marcus Aurelius is often quoted by modern day Stoics and Stoicism sympathisers. I don’t regard myself as a Stoic because my philosophical focus is much more on God and understanding the God/world relationship, whereas Stoicism offers more of a humanistic and naturalistic philosophy. I love this quote though, and I wrote about Marcus Aurelius in one of my Friday Philosophy posts, which you can check out here if you’re interested.

Quote 3:

Great wounds make for a greater glory.

(Unknown)

This quote speaks to me on many levels. To be honest with you, I’ve had a really rotten few days. My mental health has been in turmoil. I have experienced severe stress, paranoia, and depression. And when I look back at my life, there have been many emotional wounds, some of which I am still dealing with. This quote gives me hope that my wounds will one day turn to joy. The quote also makes me think of the Christian gospel and the suffering of Jesus on the cross.

Quote 4:

He who is not satisfied with a little is satisfied with nothing.

(Epicurus)

Through my own life trials, I’ve learned to be satisfied with little. While some people enjoy the idea of a five course meal, I’m very happy with a bowl of soup, a bread roll, and a glass of water. That still feels like abundance to me. I do not understand why people pursue great wealth, when wealth and happiness are rarely part of the same equation. The pursuit of wealth is a kind of insanity deeply embedded in capitalist democracies and I don’t like it. We should thank God for the little things and treasure them.

Quote 5:

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.

(Bertrand Russell)

This is probably my favourite quote of the bunch, because I feel it validates my ongoing struggle to help people to see the importance of my philosophical perspective. I am aware that very few people openly voice their agreement with the ideas I share on this blog and in my books. And yet, I wholeheartedly believe in the worldview I espouse. I hope there will one day be many people who understand and share my beliefs, even though I recognise that ambition to be ultimately meaningless, as I believe wholeheartedly in the futility of all human endeavour, which is described so beautifully in the book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible.


That’s your lot! I hope you enjoyed reading these quotes and my reflections. Please subscribe to this blog if you’d like to read more philosophical and theological content from me, and do leave a comment below (perhaps with a quote of your own?) if you would like to. Thank you for reading!

18 comments

  1. I love all of these quotes! The last one is so true and makes me think of social issues of the past like abolishing slavery or seeing women as being as intellectually capable as men. A quote I like, which I believe is anonymous, is, “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.” Despite hardships of whatever kind in life, we can still choose joy!

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  2. Hi Steven, quote five made me think of Greta Thurnberg. So much has been written about her over the past 12 months, not always in a positive way. I think that future generations will look back and say very different things about her impact on the environmental debate. I hope she will still be there every Friday with school children. One of my favourite quotes is actually from a fictional character.
    β€œThere is only one way to learn. It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”
    ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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    1. Hi Jo! Thanks very much for your comment, it’s quite amazing how Greta Thunberg has stirred up so much debate in 2019. Thank you for your quote from The Alchemist β€” it’s a good one! God bless you and happy 2020 πŸ™‚

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