Social Work Quotes

Being a social worker is a highly rewarding career, presenting one of the truest opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others. Nonetheless, it is a challenging job, and all social workers need some inspiration to keep us motivated. To help you through those challenging moments, here are some memorable quotes about the importance of social work:

“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” —Mohandas Ghandi

“We’re all stumbling towards the light with varying degrees of grace at any given moment.” —Bo Lozoff

“Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all men.” —Jane Addams

“The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.” —Benjamin Disraeli

“Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds that we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that you cannot sincerely try to help another without helping yourself.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I just lived the length of it. I want to live the width of it as well.” —Diane Ackerman

“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because it’s only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.” —Chuck Palahniuk

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.” —John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.” —Marian Wright Edelman

“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.” —Pearl S. Buck

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” —Mother Teresa

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” —Anne Frank

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” —Elie Wiesel

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” —Henry Ford

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” —Susan B. Anthony