The list that follows includes all of Cesar Chavez quotes that have been widely published up to this point. Let’s look over some of Cesar Chavez’s straightforward, sane, and motivational quotes and sayings.
Cesar Chavez was a well-known Latino-American labor organizer and civil rights leader with a remarkable life story. His tale of fighting for agricultural workers’ rights without resorting to violence is incredibly motivating and captivating. He is also thought to have died suddenly as a result of health problems brought on by his repeated hunger strikes for workers’ rights. He had experienced many hardships as a youth and could easily identify with the difficulties that farm laborers sometimes encountered. His campaign to improve a lot of farm laborers won him, supporters, from all around. He advocated for embargoes, organized several demonstrations, and engaged in many hunger strikes.
Best Cesar Chavez Quotes
In non-violence, the cause has to be just and clear as well as the means.
It takes a lot of punishment to be able to do anything to change the social order.
When any person suffers for someone in greater need, that person is a human.
We must understand that the highest form of freedom carries with it the greatest measure of discipline.
There’s no reason to be non-violent. There’s no challenge unless you are living for people.
We do not need to kill or destroy to win. We are a movement that builds and not destroys.
Grant me the courage to serve others; for in service, there is true life.
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There is no law for farm labor organizing, save the law of the jungle.
Without a union, the people are always cheated, and they are so innocent.
In some cases, non-violence requires more militancy than violence.
We learned many years ago that the rich may have money, but the poor have time.
If you win non-violently, then you have a double victory, you have not only won your fight, but you remain free.
We’re going to pray a lot and picket a lot.
Non-violence has suffered its biggest defeat in the hands of people who most want to talk about it.
We are organizers at heart. Most of us in the movement take great pride in being able to put things together.
Cesar Chavez Quotes on Leadership
However important the struggle is and however much misery and poverty and degradation exist, we know that it cannot be more important than one human life.
Our union represents a breaking away…represents sharing a power, represents questioning, represents a new force…however long it takes, we are geared for a struggle.
If you give yourself totally to the nonviolent struggle for peace and justice you also find that people give you their hearts and you will never go hungry and never be alone.
I think one of the great, great problems…is confusing people to the point where they become immobile. In fact, the more things people can find out for themselves, the more vigor the organization is going to have.
The strike and the boycott, have cost us much. What they have not paid us in wages, better working conditions, and new contracts, they have paid us in self-respect and human dignity.
Violence just hurts those who are already hurt…Instead of exposing the brutality of the oppressor, it justifies it.
Organizing is an educational process. The best educational process in the union is the picket line and the boycott. You learn about life.
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We are certain God’s will is that all men share in the good things this earth produces.
The only ones who make things change are fanatics. If you’re not a fanatic around here, you can’t cut it.
You know, if people are not pacifists, it’s not their fault. It’s because society puts them in that spot. You’ve got to change it. You don’t just change a man – you’ve got to change his environment as you do it.
Look at the John Birch Society. Look at Hitler. The reactionaries are always better organizers.
If we are full of hatred, we can’t really do our work. Hatred saps all that strength and energy we need to plan.
Non-violence exacts a very high price from one who practices it. But once you are able to meet that demand then you can do most things.
Non-violence means people in action. People have to understand that non-violence goes a hell of a lot of organization.
We need, in a special way, to work twice as hard to help people understand that the animals are fellow creatures, that we must protect them and love them as we love ourselves.
Cesar Chavez Short Quotes
The basis for peace is respecting all creatures.
Self-dedication is a spiritual experience.
What I do shows people what kind of person I am.
Together, all things are possible
You cannot uneducated the person who has learned to read.
You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.
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We have seen the future, and the future is ours.
Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed.
The people united will never be defeated.
If you want to remember me, organize!
To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men!
There is no such thing as defeat in non-violence.
The end of all knowledge should be service to others.
You are never strong enough that you don’t need help.
The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people.
Cesar Chavez Quotes on Labor
If you’re not frightened that you might fail, you’ll never do the job. If you’re frightened, you’ll work like crazy.
I would not take one cup of coffee from a grower…There’s not a good one. I hate them. A few presents, a little talk, and then the noose. That’s how capitalism works.
Years of misguided teaching have resulted in the destruction of the best in our society, in our cultures, and in the environment.
The non-violent technique does not depend for its success on the goodwill of the oppressor, but rather on the unfailing assistance of God.
What is at stake is human dignity. If a man is not accorded the respect he cannot respect himself and if he does not respect himself, he cannot demand it.
When a man or woman, young, or old, takes a place on the picket line for even a day or two, he will never be the same again.
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The first principle of non-violent action is that of non-cooperation with everything humiliating.
Do not romanticize the poor…We are all people, human beings subject to the same temptations and faults as all others. Our poverty damages our dignity.
In the no-nonsense school of adversity, which we did not choose for ourselves, we are learning how to operate a labor union.
A symbol is an important thing. That is why we chose an Aztec eagle. It gives pride…When people see it they know it means dignity.
Cesar Chavez Quotes on Justice
Nonviolence is really tough. You don’t practice nonviolence at conferences; you practice it on picket lines.
Talk is cheap…It is the way we organize and use our lives every day that tells what we believe in.
We are suffering. We have suffered. And we are not afraid to suffer in order to win our cause.
When you sacrifice, you force others to sacrifice. It’s an extremely powerful weapon.
Our very lives are dependent, for sustenance, on the sweat and sacrifice of the Campesinos. Children of farm workers should be as proud of their parents’ professions as other children are of theirs.
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Never, never is it possible to reach someone if you become angry or bitter only love and gentleness can do it. Maybe not this time but maybe the next or the hundredth time.
Concentration is an inspiration. You must be completely overtaken by your work and your subject. Only then do all your influences and experience come up to the surface.
I’ve always maintained that it isn’t the form that’s going to make the difference. It isn’t the rule or the procedure or the ideology, but it’s human beings that will make it.
Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well with others.
There’s no turning back…We will win. We are winning because ours is a revolution of mind and heart…
Cesar Chavez Quotes Si Se Puede
In 1968, I became a vegetarian after realizing that animals feel afraid, cold, hungry, and unhappy like we do…
There are many reasons why a man does what de does. To be himself he must be able to give it all. If a leader cannot give it all he cannot expect his people to give anything.
Just as Dr. King was a disciple of Gandhi and Christ, we must now be Dr. King’s disciples. Dr. King challenged us to work for greater humanity. I only hope that we are worthy of his challenge.
I’m not going to ask for anything unless the workers want it. If they want it, they’ll ask for it.
The love for justice that is in us is not only the best part of our being but it is also the most true to our nature.
Because we have suffered, and we are not afraid to suffer in order to survive, we are ready to give up everything – even our lives – in our struggle for justice.
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When you have people together who believe in something very strongly – whether it’s religion or politics or unions – things happen.
We believe that unions have always been about much more than the industries in which they operate.] The fight is never about grapes or lettuce … It is always about people.
There is enough love and goodwill in our movement to give energy to our struggle and still have plenty left over to break down and change the climate of hate and fear around us.
In the final analysis, it doesn’t really matter what the political system is…We don’t need perfect political systems; we need perfect participation.
Cesar Chavez Quotes Social Change
I am an organizer, not a union leader. A good organizer has to work hard and long. There are no shortcuts. You just keep talking to people, working with them, sharing, exchanging and they come along.
When the man who feeds the world by toiling in the fields is himself deprived of the basic rights of feeding, sheltering, and caring for his own family, the whole community of man is sick.
It’s ironic that those who till the soil, cultivate and harvest the fruits, vegetables, and other foods that fill your tables with abundance have nothing left for themselves.
Being of service is not enough. You must become a servant of the people. When you do, you can demand their commitment in return.
Kindness and compassion toward all living things is the mark of a civilized society.
In giving of yourself, you will discover a whole new life full of meaning and love.
Non-violence is not inaction. It is not a discussion. It is not for the timid or weak… Non-violence is hard work.
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True wealth is not measured in money or status or power. It is measured in the legacy we leave behind for those we love and those we inspire.
To make a great dream come true, the first requirement is a great capacity to dream; the second is persistence.
As long as we have a poor country bordering California, it’s going to be very difficult to win strikes.
Farm workers are society’s canaries. Farm workers – and their children – demonstrate the effects of pesticide poisoning before anyone else.
There is no substitute for hard work, 23 or 24 hours a day. And there is no substitute for patience and acceptance.
Who gets the risks? The risks are given to the consumer, the unsuspecting consumer, and the poor workforce. And who gets the benefits? The benefits are only for the corporations, for the money makers.
The burdens of generations of poverty and powerlessness lie heavy in the fields of America. If we fail, there are those who will see violence as the shortcut to change.
What we do know absolutely is that human lives are worth more than grapes and that innocent-looking grapes on the table may disguise poisonous residues hidden deep inside where washing cannot reach.
Cesar Chavez Quotes Education
Since the Church is to be a servant to the poor, it is our fault if that wealth is not channeled to help the poor in our world.
When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines the kind of men we are.
From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems, and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.
If you really want to make a friend, go to someone’s house and eat with him… the people who give you their food give you their heart.
We draw our strength from the very despair in which we have been forced to live. We shall endure.
Real education should consist of drawing the goodness and the best out of our own students. What better book can there be than the book of humanity?
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We need to help students and parents cherish and preserve the ethnic and cultural diversity that nourishes and strengthens this community – and this nation.
Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves – and be free.
Our language is the reflection of ourselves. A language is an exact reflection of the character and growth of its speakers.
Preservation of one’s own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures.
Which people will continue to build, develop and move when you are not there?
We farm workers are closest to food production. We were the first to recognize the serious health hazards of agricultural pesticides to both consumers and ourselves.