“We can't change the world unless we change.”
– Biggie Smalls
Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes made history on January 9 when she opened session in the New York State Assembly as the first woman and the first African American to hold the title of Majority Leader.
The Majority Leader concluded her opening remarks with an inspirational quote from music mogul Christopher Wallace AKA Biggie Smalls, a Brooklyn native who rose to the top of his profession among hip hop artists.
"We can't change the world unless we change," said Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes, crediting Smalls at the opening of the Assembly's 2019-2020 session.
- “It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how our history has shaped us in ways that we may not yet still understand”
- “I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, fears diminish.”
- “You don't make progress by standing on the side lines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.”
- “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life last”
- “You may encounter many defeats but you must not be defeated, in fact it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from and how you can still come out of it”
- “If you look at what you have in life you'll always have more, If you look at what you don't have in life you'll never have enough”
- “We ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all civil and political rights that belong to citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and to our daughters forever”
- “Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy. It requires us to suspend our egos and live in another's world.”
- “In order to see where we are going, we not only must remember where we have been, but we must understand where we have been.”
- “I am where I am because of the bridges that I crossed. Sojourner Truth was a bridge. Harriet Tubman was a bridge. Ida B. Wells was a bridge. Madame C. J. Walker was a bridge. Fannie Lou Hamer was a bridge.”
- “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”
- “Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world.”
- “I believe our righteous anger can be transformed into more justice and more peace.”
- “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity.”
- “We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice; not in love with publicity but in love with humanity.”
- “Peace begins with a smile.”
- “Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We only have today.”
- “Whenever women gather together, failure is impossible.”
The Majority Leader recognizes the value of inspiration and the wisdom imparted – the unsung as well as the famous, and the very young as well as the very old. Mothers and fathers who work two jobs to feed their families and keep them warm or college students working part-time jobs so can they afford to take classes at night to secure their futures have something valuable to say. You have something valuable to say.
Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes wants to share your wisdom, hope and humor each day as she directs the proceedings of The People's House.
In addition to inspiration, the Majority Leader wants to know all about Kidspiration. She wants to hear from students – elementary school, middle school, etc. who say many funny (and wise) things as they make their way through the world.
We all know the words of Biggie Smalls, Jim Kelly and Shirley Chisholm because of the success that they attained through their lives. Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes would love to share your words to help Motivate, Inspire and Kidspire. Share the sayings that move you to think and feel more deeply, smile more broadly and laugh more fully.
Pass along your inspiration – a famous quote, a children's quote, your own or one that you have always found inspiration from – and Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes may use it in the Assembly Chamber to help open a legislative session day.