82+ Best Haile Selassie Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Haile Selassie I was Crown Prince and Regent of the Ethiopian Empire from 1916 to 1928, and then King and Regent from 1928 to 1930, and finally Emperor from 1930 to 1974. He is a defining figure in modern Ethiopian history. Profoundly inspirational Haile Selassie quotes will challenge the way you think, change the way you live and transform your whole life.

Famous Haile Selassie Quotes

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. – Haile Selassie

We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community. – Haile Selassie

Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. – Haile Selassie

That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained. – Haile Selassie

Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life – Haile Selassie

A well-organized education should not be one which prepares students for a good remuneration alone. It should be one that can help and guide them towards acquiring clear thinking, a fruitful mind, and an elevated spirit. – Haile Selassie

A well-informed public opinion is essential to the growth of political and social awareness. Only he who is informed can comment intelligently on his nation’s development and only by such comments can errors be corrected, and progress stimulated – Haile Selassie

Do the people of the world not yet realize that by fighting on until the bitter end I am not only performing my sacred duty to my people, but standing guard in the last citadel of collective security? Are they too blind to see that I have my responsibilities to the whole of humanity to face? I must still hold on until my tardy allies appear. And if they never come, then I say prophetically and without bitterness: The West will perish. – Haile Selassie

The fruits of one’s sweat, and mental labor are always rewarding – Haile Selassie

Peace demands the united efforts of us all. Who can foresee what spark might ignite the fuse? – Haile Selassie

The Emperor himself amassed his great riches. The older he grew, the greater became his greed, his pitiable cupidity… he and his people took millions from the state treasurer and left cemeteries full of people who had died of hunger, cemeteries visible from the windows of the royal palace – Haile Selassie

There is nothing as precious to man as a sound mind in a sound body and it is essential that the physical wellbeing of our people merits as much attention as its spiritual welfare – Haile Selassie

Every laborer is a father, his labor is his child. Choose your project carefully and achieve it worthily – Haile Selassie

Outside the kingdom of the Lord there is no nation which is greater than any other. God and history will remember your judgment. – Haile Selassie

As is commonly said, ‘to start anything is simple; to develop it and bring it to a successful culmination takes great effort.’ – Haile Selassie

Observe that anyone who dies for his country is a fortunate man, but death takes what it wants, indiscriminately, in peacetime as well as in war. It is better to die with freedom than without it. – Haile Selassie

We all wish to live. We all seek a world in which men are freed of the burdens of ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease. And we shall all be hard-pressed to escape the deadly rain of nuclear fall-out should catastrophe overtake us. – Haile Selassie

An awareness of our past is essential to the establishment of our personality and our identity as Africans. – Haile Selassie

If each and every one endeavors to cooperate and work in as much as his capacity permits, our faith rests upon the Almighty God that he would bless the results for us – Haile Selassie

As man’s faculty attains higher level of development and sophistication, so do his wants in life – Haile Selassie

Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. Peace is not an ‘is,’ it is a ‘becoming.’ – Haile Selassie

Misguided people sometimes create misguided ideas. Some of my ancestors were Oromo. How can I colonize myself? – Haile Selassie

A house built on granite and strong foundations, not even the onslaught of pouring rain, gushing torrents and strong winds will be able to pull down. – Haile Selassie

Mahatma Gandhi will always be remembered as long as free men and those who love freedom and justice live. – Haile Selassie

I have lived too long to cherish many illusions about the essential high-mindedness of men when brought into stark confrontation with the issue of control over their security, and their property interests. – Haile Selassie

Here is our opportunity and our challenge. If the nuclear powers are prepared to declare a truce, let us seize the moment to strengthen the institutions and procedures which will serve as the means for the pacific settlement of disputes among men. – Haile Selassie

Conflicts between nations will continue to arise. The real issue is whether they are to be resolved by force, or by resort to peaceful methods and procedures, administered by impartial institutions. – Haile Selassie

The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjuration of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security. – Haile Selassie

A good leader… maintains a balance between emotional drive and sound thinking. – Haile Selassie

Feel the needs of others more than your own. – Haile Selassie

There is no power or authority without responsibility, and he who accepts the one cannot escape or evade the other. – Haile Selassie

Man cannot live by bread alone. Man, after all is composed of intellect and soul. – Haile Selassie

In the history of the human race, those periods which later appeared as great have been the periods when the men and the women belonging to them had transcended the differences that divided them and had recognized in their membership in the human race a common bond. – Haile Selassie

The true leader is a different sort; he seeks effective activity which has a truly beneficent purpose. He inspires others to follow in his wake, and holding aloft the torch of wisdom, leads the way for society to realize its genuinely great aspirations. – Haile Selassie

We must act to shape and mold the future and leave our imprint on events as they slip past into history. – Haile Selassie

It is not only war that can stop war but men of goodwill, conscious of their mission can deal with such deadly enemy. – Haile Selassie

It is much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked. – Haile Selassie

Place principle above all else. – Haile Selassie

We must make progress slowly so as to preserve the progress we have already made. – Haile Selassie

That which man dreams of and to Which he aspires, unless fulfilled in his own lifetime, can produce no actual satisfaction to him. It will be self-deceiving and a waste of time to advocate dialogue with those who are not ready to listen, because it is obvious that the freedom of millions is not a commodity subject to bargaining. It is better to die free than to live as slaves. – Haile Selassie

Until all Africans stand and speak as free human beings, equal in the eyes of the Almighty; until that day, the African continent shall not know peace. – Haile Selassie

There is no safer anchorage for our learning, our lives, and our public actions than that provided by Divine teachings. – Haile Selassie

Unity should be the cornerstone of relations – Haile Selassie

Thousands of years ago, civilizations flourished in Africa which suffer not at all by comparison with those of other continents. In those centuries, Africans were politically free and economically independent. Their social patterns were their own and their cultures truly indigenous. – Haile Selassie

It is both the duty and responsibility of the world’s fortunate few to help fulfil the legitimate aspirations of the unfortunate many – Haile Selassie

A purely materialistic art would be like a tree which is expected to bear fruit without flowering and to sacrifice grace and beauty for mere utility – Haile Selassie

Everyone, in all walks of life, regardless of his professional occupation should feel concerned and play an active role to solve such problems which affect mankind. – Haile Selassie

This world was not created piecemeal. Africa was born no later and no earlier than any other geographical area on this globe. Africans, no more and no less than other men, possess all human attributes, talents and deficiencies, virtues and faults. – Haile Selassie

Our youth must be steadfast and take advantage of the benefits of modern civilization. Do not fall prey to idleness for it shall be a curse to you and to succeeding generations. You must set yourselves us as examples of determination and hard work. Plan your time and use both your physical and mental powers purposefully and productively. – Haile Selassie

No one should question the faith of others, for no human being can judge the ways of God. – Haile Selassie

A man who says “I have learned enough and will learn no further” should be considered as knowing nothing at all. – Haile Selassie

You must always remember that to lead, one must first learn to follow. – Haile Selassie

Many discouraging hours will arise before the rainbow of accomplished goals will appear on the horizon. – Haile Selassie

Let us set our goals too high; let us demand more of ourselves than we believe we possess – Haile Selassie

Knowledge is power. If it is not applied properly to create, let there be no doubts, it will destroy. – Haile Selassie

Do not worship me, I am not God. I’m only a man. I worship Jesus Christ. – Haile Selassie

Spiritual power is the eternal guide, in this life and the life after, for man ranks supreme among all creatures. Led forward by spiritual power, man can reach the summit destined for him by the Great Creator. – Haile Selassie

Any who may wish to profit himself alone from the knowledge given him, rather than serve others through the knowledge he has gained from learning, is betraying knowledge and rendering it worthless – Haile Selassie

Democracy, Republic: What do these words signify? What have they changed in the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, illusions. – Haile Selassie

Knowledge paves the way to Love, and Love in its turn fosters understanding, and leads one along the path of great common achievements. – Haile Selassie

There is always something moving, brewing. There are ambitious people everywhere. Wicked people. The only thing to do is to deal with them with courage and decision. One must beware of uncertainty, weakness or conflicting emotions – they lead to defeat – Haile Selassie

It is important that spiritual advancement must keep pace with material advancement. When this comes to be realized man’s journey toward higher and more lasting values will show more marked progress while the evil in him recedes into the background. Knowing that material and spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both. Only then shall we be able to acquire that absolute inner calm so necessary to our well-being. – Haile Selassie

We should accept diversity in culture and tradition and coexist peacefully. – Haile Selassie

History teaches us that unity is strength, and cautions us to submerge and overcome our differences in the quest for common goals, to strive, with all our combined strength, for the path to true African brotherhood and unity. – Haile Selassie

The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man’s basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act – and if necessary, to suffer and die – for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied. – Haile Selassie

In the mystic traditions of the different religions we have a remarkable unity of spirit. Whatever religion they may profess, they are spiritual kinsmen. While the different religions in their historic forms bind us to limited groups and militate against the development of loyalty to the world community, the mystics have already stood for the fellowship of humanity in harmony with the spirit of the mystics of ages gone by. – Haile Selassie

If a strong government finds that it can, with impunity, destroy a weak people, then the hour has struck for that weak people to appeal to the League of Nations to give its judgment in all freedom. God and history will remember your judgment. – Haile Selassie

The Ethiopian government’s use of the railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa was, in practice, a hazardous regards transport of arms intended for the Ethiopian forces. – Haile Selassie

We have finished the job, what shall we do with the tools? – Haile Selassie

Last May, in Addis Ababa there was convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together in unity for the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire. – Haile Selassie

Although our position vis-a-vis the power-blocs is identified with the policy of non-alignment, our past history testifies to the fact that we have always endeavored to cooperate with all nations, without exception. Thus, one of the fundamental principles we have agreed upon at the Addis Ababa Summit Conference gives expression to our fundamental desire to live in harmony and cooperation with all States. – Haile Selassie

The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion. – Haile Selassie

Today I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. – Haile Selassie

Like twentieth-century Iran, the remnant of the Persian Empire, Ethiopia under Haile Selassie attempted to preserve the absolutist state through an accommodation with modernizing forces in his own terms without completely subduing traditionalists. This was not a strategy of Haile Selassie’s own choosing. Instead, he was overtaken by events and forced to deal with contradictions that were from the very beginning too formidable to be managed in the long term. – Haile Selassie

We have decided to bring to an end the most unequal, most unjust, most barbarous war of our age, and have chosen the road to exile in order that our people will not be exterminated and in order to consecrate ourselves wholly and in peace to the preservation of our empire’s independence. – Haile Selassie

One cannot deny that in former times man’s life had been one of toil and hardship. It is correct to say, therefore, that modern civilization and the progress of science have greatly improved man’s life and have brought comfort and ease in their trail. – Haile Selassie

The love shown by our God to mankind should constrain all of us who are followers and disciples of Christ, to do all in our power to see to it that the message of salvation is carried to those of our fellows for whom Christ our Savior was sacrificed but who have not had the benefit of hearing the good news. – Haile Selassie

Haile Selassie was not an evil man, but his priorities were misplaced. He was so concerned with establishing a strong central government and modernizing the country that he failed to meet the challenge of natural disaster… It was his false pride, this lack of courage to admit mistakes, that brought about his downfall. – Haile Selassie

I have heard of that idea. I also met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that I am a man, that I am mortal and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that a human being is emanated from a deity. – Haile Selassie

Leadership does not mean domination. The world is always well supplied with people who wish to rule and dominate others – Haile Selassie

Imagination, devotion, perseverance, together with divine grace, will assure your success. Knowing that material & spiritual progress are essential to man, we must ceaselessly work for the equal attainment of both. It is only when a people strike an even balance between scientific progress & spiritual & moral advancement that it can be said to possess a wholly perfect and complete personality and not a lopsided one. – Haile Selassie

If you are open-minded and ready to learn, there are many things which you can learn not only from books and instructors but form the very life experience itself. – Haile Selassie

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