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"Today Was Good": 12 Quotes from Children's Books for Inspiration in Tough Times

Kanzi Kamel By Kanzi Kamel Published on November 7, 2017
This article was updated on November 10, 2017

Meditate! Do yoga! Go for a walk! Turn off the news alert on your iPhone! Don't think about it! 

But it's not that easy, is it? Every generation thinks they have it the worst, but it seems that every day brings us a new, heartbreaking reason to believe it really is the worst. 

From the terrible news of terrorist attacks, gun violence, and hate-crime, to panic-inducing stories of man-made climate change, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. And it's even easier to roll your eyes when Jim, your obnoxiously positive coworker, smiles at you from across the desk and says, "I haven't checked the news in a month, and I've never been happier! You should try it!" 

Jim's half-right. Staying positive is a whole lot simpler if you don't know what to worry about. 

But for those of us who still feel that it's important to know what's going on in the world, but can't figure out how to keep it from getting us down, how about we try reaching back to some of our happiest childhood moments for support?

Here are twelve quotes to help you look at the glass half-full. In times like this, it's good to appreciate what you do have, and give yourself realistic expectations. 

It's okay to feel down sometimes, Jim. Jeez.


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"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." 

– A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh


“A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” 

– Roald Dahl, The Twits


"I don't know what lies around the bend but I'm going to believe the best does." 

– L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables


"Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for a might-have-been." 

– Arthur Ransome, We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea 


"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted." 

– Aesop, The Lion and the Mouse


“I bet if you go through the rest of your life telling yourself, ‘I'm sparkling,’ you'll have a whole different energy and experience.”

― Wendy Mass, Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall


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"If you look the the right way you can see that the whole world is a garden." 

– Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden


"Inside all of us is hope. Inside all of us is fear. Inside all of us is adventure. Inside all of us is... A wild thing."

– Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

"I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship." 

– Louisa May Alcott, Little Women


“You can't stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” 

– A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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“Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child, Listen to the DON'TS
Listen to the SHOULDN'TS, the IMPOSSIBLES, the WONT'S
Listen to the NEVER HAVES, Then listen close to me—
Anything can happen, child, ANYTHING can be.”

— Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends


"Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”

― Dr. Seuss, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

Egyptian-American food enthusiast born in Chicago, raised in Beirut, and living in Dublin. Regional Ambassador at Bookwitty. Intimately familiar with the term "identity crisis".

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