Don't let fear stop you. Don't give up because you are paralyzed by insecurity or overwhelmed by the odds, because in giving up, you give up hope. Understand that failure is a process in life, that only in trying can you enrich yourself and have the possibility of moving forward. The greatest obstacle in life is fear and giving up because of it.— Sonia Sotomayor
The most emotional Sonia Sotomayor quotes to get the best of your day
Success is its own reward, but failure is a great teacher too, and not to be feared.
I do know one thing about me: I don't measure myself by others' expectations or let others define my worth.
Experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.
I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.
As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society.
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• Quotes about People
The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.
Until we reach equality in education, we can't reach equality in the larger society.
The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever.
There are no bystanders in life [...] Our humanity makes us each a part of something greater than ourselves.
I have come to believe that in order to thrive, a child must have at least one adult in her life who shows her unconditional love, respect, and confidence.
In every position that I've been in, there have been naysayers who don't believe I'm qualified or who don't believe I can do the work. And I feel a special responsibility to prove them wrong.
Through reading, I escaped the bad parts of my life in the South Bronx.
And, through books, I got to travel the world and the universe. It, to me, was a passport out of my childhood and it remains a way - through the power of words - to change the world.
I am a product of affirmative action.
I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn't able to succeed at those institutions.
I came to accept during my freshman year that many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background, not lack of aptitude or application as I'd feared.
There are drones flying over the air randomly that are recording everything that's happening on what we consider our private property. That type of technology has to stimulate us to think about what is it that we cherish in privacy, and how far we want to protect it and from whom.
A role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration;
his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, "Yes, someone like me can do this."
My job as a prosecutor is to do justice.
And justice is served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not.
I realized that people had an unreal image of me, that somehow I was a god on Mount Olympus. I decided that if I were going to make use of my role as a Supreme Court Justice, it would be to inspire people to realize that, first, I was just like them and second, if I could do it, so could they.
Don't mistake politeness for lack of strength.
The challenges I have faced - among them material poverty, chronic illness, and being raised by a single mother - are not uncommon, but neither have they kept me from uncommon achievements.
I was raised in a Bronx public housing project, but studied at two of the nation's finest universities. I did work as an assistant district attorney, prosecuting violent crimes that devastate our communities.
We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.
I have never had to face anything that could overwhelm the native optimism and stubborn perseverance I was blessed with.
We apply law to facts. We don't apply feelings to facts.
I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences.
There are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action - to try to balance out those effects.
I want to state upfront, unequivocally and without doubt: I do not believe that any racial, ethnic or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge, regardless of their background or life experiences.
My diabetes is such a central part of my life.
.. it did teach me discipline... it also taught me about moderation... I've trained myself to be super-vigilant... because I feel better when I am in control.
Even though Article IV of the Constitution says that treaties are the 'supreme law of the land,' in most instances they're not even law.
The truth is that since childhood I had cultivated an existential independence.
It came from perceiving the adults around me as unreliable, and without it I felt I wouldn't have survived. I cared deeply for everyone in my family, but in the end I depended on myself.
An alcoholic father, poverty, my own juvenile diabetes, the limited English my parents spoke - although my mother has become completely bilingual since. All these things intrude on what most people think of as happiness.
I honestly felt no envy or resentment, only astonishment at how much of a world there was out there and how much of it others already knew. The agenda for self-cultivation that had been set for my classmates by their teachers and parents was something I'd have to develop for myself.
I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge regardless of their background or life experiences.
There are uses to adversity, and they don't reveal themselves until tested.
Whether it's serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.
I had no need to apologize that the look-wider, search-more affirmative action that Princeton and Yale practiced had opened doors for me. That was its purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.
When I call myself an affirmative action baby, I'm talking about the essence of what affirmative action was when it started.
You can't be a minority in this society without having someone express disapproval about affirmative action.
The dynamism of any diverse community depends not only on the diversity itself but on promoting a sense of belonging among those who formerly would have been considered and felt themselves outsiders.
The President [Barack Obama] had suggested that I not watch the news during the confirmation process. I assiduously followed his advice.
I firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all of our basic rights.
Although I grew up in very modest and challenging circumstances, I consider my life to be immeasurably rich.
My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage.
If you're poor, you don't often live near a good school.
If it's a competitive public school program, our kids are not prepared to enter those programs.
My judicial philosophy is fidelity to the law.
I stand on the shoulders of countless people, yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life aspiration. That person is my mother, Celina Sotomayor.
I savor life. When you have anything that threatens life... it prods you into stepping back and really appreciating the value of life and taking from it what you can.
It is very important when you judge to recognize that you have to stay impartial. That's what the nature of my job is. I have to unhook myself from my emotional responses and try to stay within my unemotional, objective persona.
Each time I see a split infinitive, an inconsistent tense structure or the unnecessary use of the passive voice, I blister.
You make your life choices understanding that you might and do have to work harder to prove yourself.