At Good Good Good, we help you feel more hopeful and do more good.

For years — since launching our podcast, Sounds Good, and printing the first issue of the Goodnewspaper — we've been slowly collecting quotes about hope.

There's an interesting nuance to be found in the difference between hope and optimism – and there's power in pushing back against cynicism. (Despite how easy it is to feel cynical these days.)

We wanted to share our favorite short quotes about hope and optimism (and the difference between hope and optimism) — in the hopes they'll leave you feeling more hopeful, and empowered to use that sense of hope as fuel to help you do more good.

The best quotes about hope, optimism, and pessimism:

“To be optimistic is to assume things will work out. To be hopeful is to realize things can work out if you work at them. Hope requires responsibility and agency; optimism relieves us of both. In rooting for your sports team, choose optimism. In rooting for democracy, choose hope.”
— Eric Liu

Illustration of quote about hope: To be optimistic is to assume things will work out. To be hopeful is to realize things can work out if you work at them. Hope requires responsibility and agency; optimism relieves us of both. In rooting for your sports team, choose optimism. In rooting for democracy, choose hope. — Eric Liu
Eric Liu quote about hopefulness / Centerfold Illustration for the Goodnewspaper

“There's no difference between a pessimist who says, 'It's all over, don't bother trying to do anything, forget about voting, it won't make a difference,' and an optimist who says, 'Relax, everything is going to turn out fine.' Either way the results are the same. Nothing gets done.”
— Yvon Chouinard

→ Read the best quotes about activism

“There's no difference between a pessimist who says, 'It's all over, don't bother trying to do anything, forget about voting, it won't make a difference,' and an optimist who says, 'Relax, everything is going to turn out fine.' Either way the results are the same. Nothing gets done.”— Yvon Chouinard

“Optimism isn’t a belief that things will automatically get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better.”
— Melinda Gates

Quote: Optimism isn’t a belief that things will automatically get better; it’s a conviction that we can make things better. — Melinda Gates

“Hope confronts. It does not ignore pain, agony, or injustice. It is not a saccharine optimism that refuses to see, face, or grapple with the wretchedness of reality. You can't have hope without despair, because hope is a response. Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word.”
— Cory Booker

Quote: Hope confronts. It does not ignore pain, agony, or injustice. It is not a saccharine optimism that refuses to see, face, or grapple with the wretchedness of reality. You can't have hope without despair, because hope is a response. Hope is the active conviction that despair will never have the last word. — Cory Booker

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it's unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there's no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope.”
— Noam Chomsky

Goodnewspaper quote: Optimism is a strategy for making a better future. Because unless you believe that the future can be better, it's unlikely you will step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume that there's no hope, you guarantee that there will be no hope. — Noam Chomsky
Noam Chomsky quote about optimism / Centerfold Illustration for the Goodnewspaper

“Hope will never be silent.”
— Harvey Milk

“Hope is contagious!”
— Greta Thunberg

“It is in col­lec­tiv­i­ties that we find reser­voirs of hope and optimism.”
— Angela Davis

“Being truthful about the state of our nation and world does not equal losing hope. Hope sees truth and still believes in better. That which dismisses or does not seek truth, but grins, saying "It will be okay," is naivete, not hope.”
— Bernice King

Quote: Being truthful about the state of our nation and world does not equal losing hope. Hope sees truth and still believes in better. That which dismisses or does not seek truth, but grins, saying "It will be okay," is naivete, not hope. — Bernice King
Bernice King quote about Hope / Centerfold Illustration for the Goodnewspaper by Morgan Harper Nichols

“Understanding that this is America shouldn’t evoke hopelessness. Hope and truth are connected. Hope is not naïveté. It is bearing witness to truth, still believing in better and yielding the energy to contribute to better.”
— Bernice King

→ Read Bernice King's quotes about hope, love, and her father, Martin Luther King Jr.

“Can we overcome apathy? Yes, but only if we have hope.”
— Jane Goodall

“I do have reasons for hope: our clever brains, the resilience of nature, the indomitable human spirit, and above all, the commitment of young people when they're empowered to take action.”
— Jane Goodall

Quote: I do have reasons for hope: our clever brains, the resilience of nature, the indomitable human spirit, and above all, the commitment of young people when they're empowered to take action. — Jane Goodall
Jane Goodall quote about Hope / Centerfold Illustration for the Goodnewspaper by Morgan Harper Nichols

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”
— Dorothy Day

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
— John Lewis

Goodnewspaper Quote: Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble. — John Lewis
John Lewis quote about Hope and optimism / Centerfold Illustration for the Goodnewspaper by Morgan Harper Nichols

“The positive thinker sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible.”
Winston Churchill

“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

→ Read Desmond Tutu's quotes about hope and light

“What I am trying to cultivate is not blind optimism … but radical hope.”
— Junot Diaz

Quote: What I am trying to cultivate  is not blind optimism …  but radical hope. — Junot Diaz

“A single individual is enough for hope to exist. And that individual can be you.”
— Pope Francis

“When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it — always.”
— Mahatma Gandhi