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By Francine Barchett
  • Department of Global Development
  • Global Development

What the Cornell Humphrey Program director Peter Gregory and I have in common is we both love quotes! Quotes put words to our unexplainable fears, inspire us to stand up for ourselves and take risks, and open our eyes to the struggles we share with our neighbors.

Quotes also define the Cornell Humphrey Program. When COVID-19 stripped the Humphrey Fellowship Year in half, our program team had a hard time cramming 10 months into 5.  But what I found helped us help the Fellows manage their time was publish a weekly one-stop-shop newsletter. Much to my chagrin, we named it “Fran’s Friday Fragments.” Soon enough, quotes became one of the newsletter’s mainstays.

Each week, I asked one Humphrey Fellow or staff member to share words that motivated them. Some chose quotes that had led them toward their journey of public service; others selected words defining their day-to-day struggles in Ithaca. Yet each expression was poignant and thematic for this Fellowship Year.

I hope you enjoy these quotes as much as the Fellows did when they shared them.

Tanya Montenegro (Ecuador)

“Do not waste one moment in regret, for to think feelingly of the mistakes of the past is to re-infect yourself.” – Neville Goddard

Yen Le (Vietnam)

“We have multiplied our possessions but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living but not a life. We’ve added years to life, not life to years.” – George Carlin

Tatevik Markosyan (Armenia)

“Success is never found. Failure is never fatal. Courage is the only thing.” – Winston Churchill

Saukira Banda (Malawi)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.” - Proverbs 25:2

Tewodros Hailemariam Abera (Ethiopia)

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

Alma Perez (Honduras)

“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit” – Fabienne Fredrickson

Supranee Kampongsun (Thailand)

“Be curious and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.” – Stephen Hawking

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