These are the inspirational quotes to pin up above your desk, make your desktop background, or write over and over again. Both high school and college are challenging points in our lives–and sometimes they can be overwhelming. However, if you persevere it will all be worth it in the end–just ask these incredibly influential people (both past and present) who have amazing things to say about the importance of education.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” –Nelson Mandela
Said by a man who really did change the world. Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary politician and icon of equality during apartheid in South Africa. He united the wonderfully diverse country and brought it into a new age of democracy and equality. His lifetime of dedicated work can be summed up with South Africa’s motto: “Unity through diversity.”
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character–that is the goal of true education.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.
The legendary civil rights activist MLK always knew the importance of education. He knew it was more than just learning math formulas or biological processes–education is the act of learning how to think for yourself, how to look critically at the world and understand how it works.
“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” –Aristotle
Even Aristotle thought learning was hard work. But like this Greek philosopher says, it all pays off in the end. A student of Plato and the teacher of Alexander the Great, Aristotle is quite the authority on education, especially since medieval Muslim scholars referred to him as “the First Teacher.”
“Education is the key to unlock the golden door to freedom.” –George Washington Carver
Born into slavery, George Washington Carver went on to become a botanist and inventor, as well as a leader of environmentalism. He wanted to improve farming practices for impoverished farmers. Time magazine dubbed him the “Black Leonardo [da Vinci]” in 1941. Carver’s quote still rings true today, as education can open up many opportunities to those willing to learn.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” –Benjamin Franklin
It almost feels as if this quote was tailor-made for the present, given the costs of college nowadays. Benjamin Franklin was a founding father, author, inventor, scientist, theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, civic activist, and diplomat among other things. He also founded what would eventually become the University of Pennsylvania and acted as its first president, so Benjamin Franklin really knew a thing or two about the importance of education.
“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.” –Diogenes of Sinope
The concept of ‘children are the future’ has been around since the times of ancient Greece. Diogenes, sometimes called Diogenes the Cynic, was a philosopher of the controversial sort. He disagreed with Plato, mocked Alexander the Great, and pulled strange philosophic stunts in public. Despite all that, Diogenes knew the importance of educating the future generations, as they would be the ones who shaped the world.
“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.” –Malala Yousafzai
Malala is a true modern marvel, especially in the realm of education. The incredible young woman was shot in the head point-blank as she stood up for educational rights. She survived and now campaigns worldwide about the critical importance of education for all. An icon for equality, peace, and understanding, Malala has a host of quotes that will inspire anyone and everyone when it comes to learning.