Howard Thurman was an iconic figure in the African American community, known for his profound and inspirational words of wisdom. He was a prominent theologian, educator, and civil rights activist who made significant contributions to the civil rights movement. His quotes, which are still widely used today, reflect his life’s work, filled with passion and enlightenment.
About Howard Thurman
Howard Thurman was an influential figure in the civil rights movement, known for his spiritual and philosophical teachings. Born in Florida in 1899, Thurman was raised by his grandmother and attended a segregated school. Despite facing racial discrimination throughout his life, he became one of the first African Americans to earn a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College. Thurman went on to study theology at Rochester Theological Seminary and became a Baptist minister.
He later served as dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University and helped establish the first interracial church in San Francisco. His teachings focused on the importance of inner spirituality and personal connection with God, rather than strict adherence to religious dogma. Throughout his life, Thurman worked closely with other civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., mentoring him during his early years as a preacher.
Top Howard Thurman Quotes
Dr. Howard Thurman positive outlook on life, faith, and justice can be found in his many books and speeches. Here are the top quotes from Dr. Howard Thurman that continue to inspire us today: a collection of timeless words that will help guide you on your journey through life.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive”
“Love has no awareness of merit or demerit; it has no scale… Love loves; this is its nature.”
“There is a quiet courage that comes from an inward spring of confidence in the meaning and significance of life. Such courage is an underground river, flowing far beneath the shifting events of one’s experience, keeping alive a thousand little springs of action.”
“There is something in every one of you that waits and listens for the sound of the genuine in yourself. It is the only true guide you will ever have. And if you cannot hear it, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls.”
“What the world need is people who have come alive.”
What the world needs is people who have come alive. This statement is not just a simple catchphrase, but rather a call for individuals to awaken their passions and purpose in order to make a positive impact in the world. It’s time for us to break free from the mundane routines of life and embrace our true selves. When we live fully, we inspire those around us to do the same.
Our energy becomes infectious, and our enthusiasm spills over into every aspect of our lives. We become beacons of light in a world that desperately needs hope and positivity. By coming alive, we are able to tap into our creativity and imagination, leading us down paths of innovation and progress. Furthermore, when we live authentically, we open ourselves up to new experiences and opportunities that we may have never considered before.
“During times of war, hatred becomes quite respectable even though it has to masquerade often under the guise of patriotism.”
“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.”
“keep fresh before me the moments of my high resolve.”
“There are two questions that we have to ask ourselves. The first is ‘Where am I going?’ and the second is ‘Who will go with me?’”
“At the core of life is a hard purposefulness, a determination to live.”
“A dream is the bearer of a new possibility, the enlarged horizon, the great hope.”
“And this is the strangest of all paradoxes of the human adventure; we live inside all experience, but we are permitted to bear witness only to the outside. Such is the riddle of life and the story of the passing of our days.”
“In the stillness of the quiet, if we listen, we can hear the whisper of the heart giving strength to weakness, courage to fear, hope to despair.”
“Listen to the long stillness: New life is stirring New dreams are on the wing New hopes are being readied: Humankind is fashioning a new heart Humankind is forging a new mind God is at work. This is the season of Promise”
“Follow the grain in your own wood….”
As human beings, we all have unique qualities that make us stand out. Just like how every piece of wood has its own distinct pattern and grain, each person has their own set of skills and attributes that should be embraced. Oftentimes, people try to emulate others or follow a certain path in life because they think it’s what they should do or what society expects of them.
However, it’s important to remember that following the grain in your own wood can lead to a fulfilling and authentic life. By staying true to yourself and embracing your individuality, you will be able to carve out your own path in life. This may require taking risks or going against the norm but ultimately it will lead to personal growth and success. Following someone else’s grain may seem like an easier route at first but you’ll never truly feel fulfilled if you’re not being true to yourself.
“Often, to be free means the ability to deal with the realities of one’s own situation so as not to be overcome by them.”
“The measure of a man’s estimate of your strength is the kind of weapons he feels that he must use in order to hold you fast in a prescribed place.”
“If a man knows precisely what he can do to you or what epithet he can hurl against you in order to make you lose your temper, your equilibrium, then he can always keep you under subjection.”
“The years, the months, the days, and the hours have flown by my open window. Here and there an incident, a towering moment, a naked memory, an etched countenance, a whisper in the dark, a golden glow these and much more are the woven fabric of the time I have lived.”
“Do not be silent; there is no limit to the power that may be released through you.”
“He who fears is literally delivered to destruction.”
Fear is a powerful emotion that can cripple even the strongest of individuals. It can prevent us from taking risks, pursuing opportunities, and living our lives to the fullest. The fear of failure, rejection or pain can be paralyzing and lead us down a path of destruction. The irony is that when we succumb to fear, we are in fact delivering ourselves to the very thing we’re afraid of.
Our fears become self-fulfilling prophecies as we avoid situations that may trigger them, but ultimately end up manifesting them in one way or another. Living in fear means missing out on all the wonderful experiences life has to offer and never truly realizing our full potential. It’s important to recognize that fear is not just an emotion; it’s also a choice – one we make every day.
“The hard thing when you get old is to keep your horizons open. The first part of your life everything is in front of you, all your potential and promise. But over the years, you make decisions; you carve yourself into a given shape. Then the challenge is to keep discovering the green growing edge.”
“Fate is the raw materials of experience. They come uninvited and often unanticipated. Destiny is what a man does with these raw materials.”
April 10, 1981, at the age of 80.
The experience of being dealt with at a point in oneself that is beyond all the good and beyond all the evil.
let’s Wind Up…
Howard Thurman’s quotes are timeless and wise. His words have the potential to bring us closer together as human beings and can help us understand the different perspectives of our fellow citizens. His words serve as a reminder that we are all connected and should strive for peace, acceptance, and understanding in the world. We can all learn something from his life story, his faith, and his thought-provoking quotes. His legacy lives on in the impact he made on many people’s lives.