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7 Quotes That Have Changed My Life

As an avid reader, I wholly believe that words have the power to change the world. I have come across many quotes throughout my life that have transformed my perspective forever. So here are seven quotes that have changed my life and what each one has taught me.

1. “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” ― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

I cannot express how profoundly influential this quote has been in my life. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my most favorite books of all time, and this passage is one of the reasons why. I love this quote because of its simple yet weighty message. All a mockingbird does is sing. If you kill the bird, you kill an innocent creature. It is a sin to harm the innocent. At different times in my life, I have been the mockingbird, and I have been the killer. That quote helped me realize that as the mockingbird I was not to blame and as the killer I was in the wrong.

2. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” ― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

For me, this is the most accurate description of forgiveness. In my experience, you cannot always force yourself to automatically forgive someone; it’s a process. When you fully forgive someone, it is a quiet experience that happens slowly and intimately within the heart. This quote tells me that it’s okay if I haven’t fully moved on from a past hurt but also reminds me that one day I will find complete forgiveness and peace.

3. “She didn’t read books so she didn’t know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.” ― Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston is a phenomenal writer, and this is one of the most beautiful sentences I have ever come across. This quote shows how much value and potential a person can have without even knowing it. I love this sentence because I do read (a lot) and I do know that I am the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop; I want everyone to know what that feels like.

4. “For unlike my mother, I did not believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I could only be me.” ― Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club

This quote is especially relevant for any college-aged student. I have multiple passions and interests, and it sometimes breaks my heart to narrow down my options when it comes to my career; however, this quote reminds me that I am on the right path because I am becoming the person I was meant to me. I wish I could be anything I wanted, but sadly, that is not how the world works. I can only be me, and that should be enough.

5. “I am going to take this bucket of water and pour it on the flames of hell, and then I am going to use this torch to burn down the gates of paradise so that people will not love God for want of heaven or fear of hell, but because He is God.” ― John Green, Looking for Alaska

As a Christian, this passage is extremely convicting. It is sometimes tempting to believe in God in order to make it into heaven, but that is not a good enough reason to be a Christian. You must love God because he is God by right, not because he’s your one-way ticket to paradise. I always come back to this quote whenever I get into robot mode with my relationship with God.

6. “There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket –safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I just need to carry this quote around wherever I go because I need to constantly be reminded of it. I am an extremely private and reserved person. I hate to make myself vulnerable because it makes me feel weak, yet vulnerability is necessary in order to have successful relationships with others. Without vulnerability, you cannot truly love another human being, and that is worse than damnation, in my opinion.

7. “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” ― C.S. Lewis

I am still waiting for this ‘some day’ to arrive, but I am clinging on to the possibility that C. S. Lewis is right. This quote has helped me overcome some very dark days in my life. Sometimes, I lose faith in the light at the end of the tunnel and dwell on the darkness around me; however, this passage reassures me that it will get better. Even if I can’t see beyond my pain and suffering, I still try to believe in fairy tales and cling on to the hope of reading one again.

My mind is made up of words, words that bring me comfort, words I stumbled upon years ago that still affect my everyday life. Quotes are powerful devices that can change a person for the better. I am forever grateful for the quotes that have changed my life, and I am intrigued to discover what other quotes will influence me during my life.

My name is Lili Nizankiewicz. I currently attend Regent University, and I am studying English with a concentration in creative writing. My ultimate goal is to go to grad school for creative nonfiction and eventually become a writing professor at a university. I am a writer, reader, violinist, and coffee drinker. Writing is extremely important and personal to me, and I believe that it can break down many social, mental, emotional, and spiritual barriers that people struggle with. I also adore reading because that is where my love for writing began. Reading has always acted as a comforting escape in my life, and I have fallen in love with so many incredible literary characters, like Scout Finch and Peter Pan. The violin allows me to take a step back from the world of English and literature. I find the beautiful instrument to be both relaxing and challenging. I also really love coffee; it keeps me alive during my weariest days and makes me happy overall. Personality-wise, I would describe myself as introverted, introspective, determined, hardworking, and a little sarcastic.
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