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Hoping and coping – 70 inspirational quotes and proverbs on keeping hope alive during a crisis

When fear, despair, worry, grief, and anxiety plague us, we turn to higher sources of inspiration and solace. In this compilation, YourStory presents 70 quotes and proverbs on how hope, action and togetherness can help us pull through.

See our extensive coverage of the pandemic for the past year, and our COVID-19 Resource Centre. Check out our weekly quotes compilation Storybites, and pick of 60 Quotes on Crisis Management.

YourStory salutes the entire healthcare community and frontline workers for their heroic efforts during the pandemic, and extends our support and comfort to all those struggling with a sense of loss and gloom.


Hope is a beautiful thing. It gives us peace and strength, and keeps us going when all seems lost. – Julie Donner Andersen

Hope is medicine for a soul that’s sick and tired. – Eric Swensson

Hope is a verb with its shirtsleeves rolled up. – David Orr

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. – George Iles

Hope arouses, as nothing else can arouse, a passion for the possible. – William Sloane Coffin

Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. – Anne Lamott

Hope is a waking dream. – Aristotle

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. – Desmond Tutu

Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence. – Lin Yutang

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. – Samuel Smiles

Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is action. Hope is doing something. – Chris Hedges

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. – Vaclav Havel

Hope is passion for what is possible. – Soren Kierkegaard

Hope is sweet-minded and sweet-eyed. It draws pictures; it weaves fancies; it fills the future with delight. – Henry Ward Beecher

Hope is tenacious. It goes on living and working when science has dealt it what should be its deathblow. – Paul Laurence Dunbar

Hope is the ocean for the river, the sun for trees and the sky for us. – Maxime Lagacé


Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all. – Emily Dickinson

Hope itself is like a star – not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity. – Charles H. Spurgeon

Hope lies in dreams, in imagination, and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality. – Jonas Salk

Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it’s contained. – Gary Ross

A strong mind always hopes, and has always cause to hope. – Thomas Carlyle

Carve a tunnel of hope through the dark mountain of disappointment. – Martin Luther King Jr

Critical thinking without hope is cynicism. Hope without critical thinking is naïveté. – Maria Popova

If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius. – Joseph Addison

Let your hopes, not your hurts, shape your future. – Robert H. Schuller

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all. – Dale Carnegie

Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever. – Roy T Bennett

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. – Christopher Reeve

The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope. – Barack Obama

There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow. – O.S. Marden

There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope. – Bernard Williams

They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. – Tom Bodett

Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill. – Philip LaZebnik

To live without hope is to cease to live. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

We always kept in our hearts the most noble, beautiful feeling that sets human beings apart: hope. – Manel Loureiro

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

What is true of the individual will be tomorrow true of the whole nation if individuals will but refuse to lose heart and hope. – Mahatma Gandhi

What oxygen is to the lungs, such is hope to the meaning of life. – Emil Brunner

It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars. – Richard Evans

You will face many defeats in your life, but never let yourself be defeated. – Maya Angelou


If it were not for hope, the heart would break. – Greek proverb

Hope is the dream of a soul awake. – French Proverb

Hope is the last thing ever lost. – Italian proverb

Boldness is the fruit of hope. – Philippine proverb

A house divided against itself cannot stand. – English proverb

A second of help is better than hours of advice. – Tamil proverb

Constancy of purpose achieves the impossible. – Tibetan proverb

Deprivation makes you grateful for the smallest of mercies. – Spanish proverb

Even the loftiest of mountains begins on the ground. – Moroccan proverb

Fortune and misfortune are two buckets in the same well. – German proverb

Great deeds come from times of shortage. – Japanese proverb

Half the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. – English proverb

However long the night, the dawn will break. – African proverb

If everybody pushes together even a mountain can be moved. – Malayalam proverb

If people come together, they can even mend a crack in the sky. – Somali proverb

If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude. – Myanmarese proverb


In every crisis, there is opportunity. – Chinese proverb

Limitations are boundaries created within our minds. – Tibetan proverb

Little by little the cotton thread becomes a turban. Little by little the wool becomes a carpet. – Persian proverb

Misfortunes tell us what fortune is. – Sindhi proverb

One day your life will pass in front of your eyes, so make it worthy to look at. – Arabic proverb

Only through suffering and sorrow do we acquire the wisdom not found in books. – Japanese proverb

Sticks in a bundle are unbreakable. – Bondei proverb

The world is a good teacher but it charges a huge fee. – Finnish proverb

To criticise is easy, to do is difficult. – German proverb

Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today. – African proverb

True patience consists in bearing what is unbearable. – Japanese proverb

What cannot be cured must be endured. – Scottish proverb

Who gives in need, gives double. – Ukrainian proverb

YourStory has also published the pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups’ as a creative and motivational guide for innovators (downloadable as apps here: Apple, Android).

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