John Green is a bestselling author, podcaster, avid soccer fan, and popular YouTube creator. In 2014, he was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.

John is the author of The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Turtles All The Way Down, and The Anthropocene Reviewed — many of which have been adapted for film and television.

Alongside his brother, Hank Green, John has been regularly creating YouTube videos for their channel, Vlogbrothers. They found early success on the platform, and have built an audience of fans who call themselves “Nerdfighters”.

While there are many characteristics that unite the Nerdfighter community (thoughtfulness, creativity, and curiosity, to name a few) they all share a common goal of “decreasing world suck.” (In fact, John and Hank Green co-founded the nonprofit, The Foundation to Decrease World Suck.) 

The Green Brothers and their community of Nerdfighters have continued to decrease world suck:

And that’s barely scratching the surface…

Most meaningfully, John Green is a great example of someone using their platform for good. His books and other creative endeavors — which often wrestle with the heaviness of the world while still maintaining a sense of meaningful hopefulness — have clearly connected with a community of people. And with that community he’s built, he continues to invite people to make the world a better place — in big and small ways. 

We’ve collected our favorite John Green quotes — and we hope they help you feel less alone, inspired to make a difference, and imagine the world more complexly.

Explore the best quotes from author, YouTuber, and soccer enthusiast John Green —

Famous Quotes

“The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy.”
— John Green

“The world may be broken, but hope is not crazy.” — John Green‍

“We are at once far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough. We are powerful enough to radically reshape Earth's climate and biodiversity, but not powerful enough to choose how we reshape them.”
— John Green

“We are at once far too powerful and not nearly powerful enough. We are powerful enough to radically reshape Earth's climate and biodiversity, but not powerful enough to choose how we reshape them.” — John Green

“I reread the work of my friend and mentor Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who’d died a few months earlier. She’d once written, ‘For anyone trying to discern what to do w/ their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. That’s pretty much all the info u need.’”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I reread the work of my friend and mentor Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who’d died a few months earlier. She’d once written, ‘For anyone trying to discern what to do w/ their life: PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU PAY ATTENTION TO. That’s pretty much all the info u need.’” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“A lot of times good news happens slowly and bad news happens all at once. And so we tend to focus on the bad news that’s crashing over us in waves, and not on the slow long-term work that people are doing together to try to make a better world for us to share.”
— John Green, in conversation with Steve Levitt on People I (Mostly) Admire

Read more quotes about good news

About Hope

“Hope is a funny thing because in a way it’s everywhere. Like, people will say ‘Everything happens for a reason’ or ‘It will all work out in the end’ — which are very hopeful sentiments — it’s just that they’re also, you know, bullshit. And for me anyway, they just don’t hold up in the face of real suffering. But I’ll tell you what does hold up for me. There’s an Emily Dickinson poem that starts out, ‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers - That perches in the soul - And sings the tune without the words - And never stops - at all.’
And you’ll notice that Emily Dickinson doesn’t say that one never stops hearing the song of hope — only that it doesn’t stop playing.
I’m really sorry that you’re in so much pain, and your pain is real, but the song of hope is still singing. And I know you can’t hear it, but someday soon you will.”

— John Green, on TikTok

“For me, finding hope is not some philosophical exercise or sentimental notion; it is a prerequisite for my survival.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“For me, finding hope is not some philosophical exercise or sentimental notion; it is a prerequisite for my survival.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Hope is the correct response to the strange, often terrifying miracle of consciousness. Hope is not easy or cheap. It is true.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Hope is the correct response to the strange, often terrifying miracle of consciousness. Hope is not easy or cheap. It is true.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Despair isn't very productive. That's the problem with it. Like a replicating virus, all despair can make is more of itself.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Despair isn't very productive. That's the problem with it. Like a replicating virus, all despair can make is more of itself.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I still sometimes stop hearing the tune. I still become enveloped by the abject pain of hopelessness. But hope is singing all the while. It’s just that again and again, I must relearn how to listen.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I still sometimes stop hearing the tune. I still become enveloped by the abject pain of hopelessness. But hope is singing all the while. It’s just that again and again, I must relearn how to listen.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I am highly suspicious of attempts to brightside human suffering, especially suffering that — as in the case of almost all infectious diseases — is unjustly distributed. I’m not here to criticize other people’s hope, but personally, whenever I hear someone waxing poetic about the silver linings to all these clouds, I think about a wonderful poem by Clint Smith called “When people say, ‘we have made it through worse before.’” The poem begins, “all I hear is the wind slapping against the gravestones / of those who did not make it.” As in Ibn Battuta’s Damascus, the only path forward is true solidarity — not only in hope, but also in lamentation.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

Read more quotes about hope

About Mental Health

“The body is always deciding what the brain will think about, and the brain is all the time deciding what the body will do and feel. Our brains are made of meat, and our bodies experience thoughts.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“The body is always deciding what the brain will think about, and the brain is all the time deciding what the body will do and feel. Our brains are made of meat, and our bodies experience thoughts.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I must choose to believe, to care, to hold dear. I keep going. I go to therapy. I try a different medication. I meditate, even though I despise meditation. I exercise. I wait. I work to believe, to hold dear, to go on.”
— John Green

“I must choose to believe, to care, to hold dear. I keep going. I go to therapy. I try a different medication. I meditate, even though I despise meditation. I exercise. I wait. I work to believe, to hold dear, to go on.” — John Green

"Your now is not your forever."
— John Green

"Your now is not your forever." — John Green

“I am very glad I lived through some hard days, so that I could have this one.”
— John Green, An Amazing Day

Read more quotes about self-care

About People & Community

“The only way out is through. And the only good way through is together.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“The only way out is through. And the only good way through is together.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“When people we love are suffering, we want to make it better. But sometimes — often, in fact — you can't make it better. I'm reminded of something my supervisor said to me when I was a student chaplain: "Don't just do something. Stand there.”
John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“When people we love are suffering, we want to make it better. But sometimes — often, in fact — you can't make it better. I'm reminded of something my supervisor said to me when I was a student chaplain: "Don't just do something. Stand there.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed‍

“I think two of the fundamental facts of being a person are 1. We must go on, and 2. None of us ever walks alone. We may feel alone (in fact, we will feel alone), but even in the crushing grind of isolation, we aren't alone.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I think two of the fundamental facts of being a person are 1. We must go on, and 2. None of us ever walks alone. We may feel alone (in fact, we will feel alone), but even in the crushing grind of isolation, we aren't alone.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Here’s my advice: Study broadly and without fear. Learn a language if you can, because that will make your life more interesting. Read a little bit every day. But more importantly, surround yourself with people who you like and make cool stuff with them. In the end, what you do isn’t going to be nearly as interesting or important as who you do it with.”
— John Green

Read more quotes about making a difference

From His Fiction Books

“We need never be without hope because we can never be irreparably broken.”
― John Green, Looking for Alaska

“We need never be without hope because we can never be irreparably broken.” ― John Green, Looking for Alaska

“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in t world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”
— John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world… but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” — John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?”
— John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

“What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?” — John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

“I just want to do something that matters. Or be something that matters. I just want to matter.”
— John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

About Love

“I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.”
— John Green

“I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.” — John Green

“You are helpful, and you are loved, and you are forgiven, and you are not alone.”
— John Green

“We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“We all know how loving ends. But I want to fall in love with the world anyway, to let it crack me open. I want to feel what there is to feel while I am here.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

About Life

“The world is what it is. But the world is also what you bring to it, and who you share it with.”
— John Green

“The world is what it is. But the world is also what you bring to it, and who you share it with.” — John Green

“You can't see the future coming — not the terrors, for sure, but you also can't see the wonders that are coming, the moments of light-soaked joy that await each of us.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“You can't see the future coming — not the terrors, for sure, but you also can't see the wonders that are coming, the moments of light-soaked joy that await each of us.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“When you acknowledge that there is nothing repulsive or unforgivable or shameful about yourself, it becomes easier to be that authentic person and feel like you’re living a less performed life.”
— John Green

“When you acknowledge that there is nothing repulsive or unforgivable or shameful about yourself, it becomes easier to be that authentic person and feel like you’re living a less performed life.” — John Green

“High school is not destiny… The course of your life isn’t decided. Ever. Most of the time it’s not like there’s like one fork in the road and you choose one or you choose the other, there are hundreds of forks in the road every day that you’re alive. College is also not destiny… your twenties are not destiny! Your thirties are not destiny. Destiny is not something that happens all at once. It’s something that happens only in retrospect.”
— John Green

“Public education does not exist for the benefit of students or the benefit of their parents. It exists for the benefit of the social order.
We have discovered as a species that it is useful to have an educated population. You do not need to be a student or have a child who is a student to benefit from public education. Every second of every day of your life, you benefit from public education.
So let me explain why I like to pay taxes for schools, even though I don't personally have a kid in school: It's because I don't like living in a country with a bunch of stupid people.”
John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“One of the strange things about adulthood is that you are your current self, but you are also all the selves you used to be, the ones you grew out of but can't ever quite get rid of.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“One of the strange things about adulthood is that you are your current self, but you are also all the selves you used to be, the ones you grew out of but can't ever quite get rid of.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“There's not a lot of room for un-ironic emotion in contemporary culture. I think that irony is an important tool in dealing with the world as we find it. It's a tool of protection, but it can also be a tool of incision to get to some truth. But along the way maybe we've lost some of what I think of as the power of straightforward emotion and earnestness and seriousness.”
— John Green

“Just a word of advice. Whenever you’re furious with your parents or you think they’re terrible, just remember, you vomited on them and they kept you.”
— John Green

“The ideas of directing attention outward, trying to imagine other people complexly, trying not to see myself as the center of the universe — these concepts have become important to me, and I hope they're at work in my life on a minute-by-minute basis.”
— John Green

“The ideas of directing attention outward, trying to imagine other people complexly, trying not to see myself as the center of the universe — these concepts have become important to me, and I hope they're at work in my life on a minute-by-minute basis.” — John Green

Read more quotes about humanity

About Reading

“Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.”
— John Green

“Great books help you understand, and they help you feel understood.” — John Green

“It seems to me that the great pleasure of human life is not in having an opinion, but rather in learning all the ways you are wrong, and all the nuances you failed to account for, and all the truths that turned out to be not as simple as you once believed. And it seems to me that one of the central pleasures of attending school is that you get to read with really well-informed people who can help welcome you into a complex world stuffed with rich and maddening ambiguity.”
— John Green

Short Quotes

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.”
— John Green, Looking for Alaska

“The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive.” — John Green, Looking for Alaska

“Disease only treats humans equally when our social orders treat humans equally.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“We are never far from wonders.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.”
— John Green

You might also like: The best quotes about public health to encourage health equity

On Art

“Art isn't optional for humans.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Art isn't optional for humans.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Art is where what we survive survives.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Art is where what we survive survives.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“One of the things I like about making stuff in the age of the Internet, is that people make stuff in response to it. You can see people respond to your work visually or musically or with writing.”
— John Green

“The work is a gift. And I like making gifts for people. And these are the gifts that I know how to make. I know how to write stories and I know how to make videos. That’s where I can make a difference. And I want to try to make that difference if I can. But I also need to make a difference in the lives of the people who are closest to me, because that’s the biggest difference you make... And that’s always going to be the very best use of your attention and your consciousness.”
— John Green, in conversation with Steve Levitt on People I (Mostly) Admire

More Quotes

“We live in hope — that life will get better, and more importantly that it will go on, that love will survive even though we will not. And between now and then, we are here because we're here because we're here because we're here.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“We live in hope — that life will get better, and more importantly that it will go on, that love will survive even though we will not. And between now and then, we are here because we're here because we're here because we're here.” — John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

​​“Disease only treats humans equally when our social orders treat humans equally.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I don't think injustice is caused by people loving refrigerators.”
— John Green, in a joke on Twitter about quotes being falsely attributed to him

“We cannot do the hard work of imagining a better world into existence unless we reckon honestly with what governments and corporations want us to believe, and why they want us to believe it.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“I know the world will survive us — and in some ways it will be more alive. More birdsong. More creatures roaming around. More plants cracking through our pavement, rewilding the planet we terraformed. I imagine coyotes sleeping in the ruins of the homes we built. I imagine our plastic still washing up on beaches hundreds of years after the last of us is gone. I imagine moths, having no artificial lights toward which to fly, turning back to the moon.”
— John Green, The Anthropocene Reviewed

“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we're quoting.”
— John Green

“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we're quoting.” ‍— John Green

DFTBA.