Who said, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness?”

Who said, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness?”

 

Light a candle
Light a candle

The quote is often attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, but others have a better claim.

Adlai Stevenson, used it in a UN address about Eleanor Roosevelt when she passed away in 1962. “Yesterday, I said that I had lost more than a friend — I had lost an inspiration: for she would rather light candles than curse the darkness and her glow had warmed the world.”

 

Romans 13:12 says, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” The phrase was popular with John F. Kennedy. In modern times, it was first spoken in public by Peter Benenson, English lawyer and founder of Amnesty International, at a Human Rights Day ceremony on 10th December 1961. There are statements without attribution that it is an old Chinese proverb.

2 thoughts on “Who said, “It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness?”

  1. Abigail

    Quote Investigator: The earliest appearance located by QI occurred in a 1907 collection titled “The Supreme Conquest and Other Sermons Preached in America” by William L. Watkinson. A sermon titled “The Invincible Strategy” downplayed the value of verbal attacks on undesirable behaviors and championed the importance of performing good works. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

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