Quotes to Live By Essay Contest Helps Youth Reflect on Their Character Back »

Many people have become “a person of character” by guiding their thoughts and actions from the sage advice of tried and true maxims. To learn more about maxims, youth may participate in the SD 4-H Quotes to Live By Essay Contest which youth will select a maxim and write how this essay impacts their life or our world. Additional information can be found in the State 4-H 2016 Official Contestant Packet Quotes to Live By Essay Contest.

Educators, Youth Organizers and Volunteers can teach youth about maxims by using the Quotes to Live By Maxims and Educational Guide, which provides Maxim Activity Ideas that follow the experiential learning model.

By definition a maxim is a general truth, fundamental principle or rule of conduct. Often people refer to them as “quotes”, however, a quote by definition is something that a person says or writes that is repeated or used by someone else in another piece of writing or a speech. A quote does not need to be a general truth, fundamental principle or rule of conduct.

Maxim Examples

  • “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”, by Benjamin Franklin, American Author, Scientist and Statesman (1706-1790).
  • “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” The proverb has been traced back to 'Teacher's Manual' (1840) by American educator Thomas H. Palmer and 'The Children of the New Forest' (1847) by English novelist Frederick Mary at (1792-1848). Originally a maxim used to encourage American schoolchildren to do their homework.
  • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent,” Eleanor Roosevelt (American United Nations Diplomat, Humanitarian and First Lady (1933-45), wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd US president. 1884-1962).

Using these quotes of wisdom, called maxims, is a wonderful way to stretch youth minds to develop critical thinking. As youth reflect upon the meanings of maxims they will also be clarifying their values. As Educators, Youth Organizers and Volunteers we must challenge youth to apply these maxims to their own lives – with friends and family at home, at school, and at work.

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