The three quotes that I have selected inspire me, but also describe the stark reality of teaching in the city of Chicago. This is not to be negative: if my students have taught me anything it is a kind of defiance mixed with laughter and smiles, a strength and a soul that come from a place older than their teenage years and which turns the shock I face in facing just a fraction of their reality into a form of determination and commitment. I find these quotes no longer exhilarate me, but allow me like a truck in low gear to slowly and strongly climb mountains. Feel free to reply with a quote that does the same for you.
What we do for ourselves dies with us.
What we do for others and the world remains and is eternal.
Even in our sleep
Pain that cannot forget
Falls drop by drop upon the heart
Until in our own despair
Against our will
Through the awful grace of God.
If there were no eternal consciousness in a man,
if at the foundation of all there lay only a wildly seething power which writhing with obscure passions produced everything that is great and everything that is insignificant,
if a bottomless void never satiated lay hidden beneath us all —
what then would life be but despair?