Book Writing

Best George Washington Carver Quotes

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George Washington Carver is one of those creative minds who continues to inspire and change the world. He experienced many hardships and challenges from an early age, but he never let them quench his “can do” attitude. He is one of those characters who continues to inspire with his life and writings. Reading our collection of George Washington Carver quotes can provide inspiration that we can use to steer our own lives even today.

Who was George Washington Carver?

cropped portion of portrait of George Washington Carver.
Library of Congress, 1942

George Washington Carver was an American scientist and inventor. There are few details about his early years and education. It is believed that he was born around 1964, but this is not for certain. He was born the son of two slaves, and his father was killed shortly after his birth. He had eight siblings, several of whom he never knew as they were deceased when he was very young. His mother, his sister, and himself were sold into slavery in Arkansas. He would never see them again.

He attended a school for black children that was 10 miles away by foot. Despite these challenges, including his race, he eventually succeeded in getting into college. He would eventually go on to become the first black student at Iowa State in 1891. From there, he would launch his career as an agricultural scientist with hopes of improving soil depleted from years of cotton farming.

George Washington Carver facts and contributions as an Agricultural scientist:

  • Explored alternative crops to cotton
  • Developed concept of crop rotation
  • Became a member of Royal Society of Arts in England in 1916
  • Worked in the development of peanut products
  • Received numerous awards for his work.

10 Best George Washington Carver quotes

To read a list of George Washington Carver’s accomplishments and achievements is not to understand what his work and teachings were about. His story is about challenges and overcoming them. Here are some of the best quotes that will help you gain better insight into the man and his work.

1. “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.”

This quote can apply to writing or anything else that you do. If you limit yourself only to what has been done before and only the words that have been spoken by others, nothing new can come out of it. It is good to learn from those who came before you, but you have to think differently if you want to stand out from the crowd.

George Washington Carver, full-length portrait, standing in field, probably at Tuskegee, holding piece of soil
Library of Congress, 1906

2. “I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.”

George Washington Carver used to spend time in nature to connect with the spirit and get inspiration. Even if you do not have woods to walk in, this quote stresses the importance of taking time to listen to the space from which all good ideas come. Spending time alone is an important part of the creative process, and you should take time to do it every day.

3. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”

George Washington Carver struggled to obtain a college education. There is no doubt that he would not have been able to go as far as he did without one. It is important to remember that our learning process does not end with a college degree. Our lives should be a continual improvement process where you are always learning something new and developing new skills.

4. “Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”

Excuses get you nowhere. The only thing that will get you where you want to go is to take action. First, develop a good plan, but that will not come to pass unless you actually get out there and do it one small step at a time.

5. “Start where you are, with what you have. Make something of it and never be satisfied.”

George Washington Carver is perhaps the greatest example of how you can make something of nothing. His early years would have set him up to become nothing but a slave, but he never allowed that to limit himself. A bout with whooping cough left him frail and affected his vocal cords, but that did not stop him from giving one of the most memorable speeches to Congress in history. You have to start with what you have now and decide how you are going to get where you want to go, and then, you must not stop until you get there.

George Washington Carver at work in his laboratory
USDA History Collection

6. “There is no shortcut to achievement.”

Regardless of what you want to do, it will always take hard work and dedication. Yes, it is possible to get a few breaks along the way, but you can’t count on that for your success. The only way to be assured of your future is to set your intentions and plot a course to get there.

7. “Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books .”

This is true now more than ever before. We now have the Internet, which is the largest repository of information ever to exist. You can read books upon books about anything you wish, but sometimes, the only way to learn is to stop reading and start doing something for yourself. You will make mistakes, you will learn, and that is part of the learning process.

8. “Since new developments are the products of a creative mind, we must therefore stimulate and encourage that type of mind in every way possible.”

This quote emphasizes the need to continually feed your creative mind. Many times, this means taking time to play and taking a break from the project at hand. You need to learn what allows you to relax and stimulate your mind. Then, you may need to take some time every day for doing it.

9. “No individual has any right to come into the world and go out of it without leaving behind him distinct and legitimate reasons for having passed through it.”

In this quote, George Washington Carver reminds us that each one of us was sent with a unique set of gifts and talents. It is a waste of our lives if we keep them locked inside of us and never allow them to shine. If you know there is something that you always wanted to do, then it is your purpose, and it is time to find a way to start doing it.

10. “Do what you can, with what you have, and do it now!”

This quote summarizes the writings and teachings of George Washington Carver and is a short, sweet directive for all of us. You can only start where you are now with what you have, but the most important thing is to get started.

As you can see, George Washington Carver’s inspirational quotes are still relevant today. We can all take a little advice from him about living our lives on purpose and being the best that we can be regardless of the circumstances. If you enjoyed these George Washington Carver quotes, you might enjoy these quotes about reading and writing and these Maya Angelou quotes.

Chris Craft

Follower of Jesus. Husband. Father. Founder of InspireFirst and Nao Media.