Kerry Washington is celebrating her 47th birthday today (Jan. 31), and it has us reminiscing about all of the wisdom the activist has passed down over the years.
The four-time Emmy nominee earned a platform after landing her breakout role in Save the Last Dance. She stayed in the spotlight while starring as the lead character, Olivia Pope, in Scandal for six years.
After becoming a star, it wasn’t long before the actress became entrenched in politics and the world of women’s and racial rights.
Aside from strongly backing her favorite political candidates as a way of gaining ground, Kerry is also a domestic violence awareness ambassador with the Allstate Foundation Purple Purse Project, and she sits on the board of V-Day.
To celebrate Kerry Washington’s birthday, we collected seven of her best quotes to remind us how to stay strong and diligent as we take on our own battles and work towards a better future for not only ourselves but for future generations.
1. Stay the path.
“You and you alone are the only person that can live the life that writes the story that you were meant to tell. And the world needs your story because the world needs your voice.”
2. You need a support network—but choose wisely.
“It is important to have friends and family around that I love and trust and who love and trust me.”
3. Embrace your imperfections.
“We need to be willing to be uncomfortable, to be flawed, to be imperfect, to own our voice, to step into our light, so that we can continue to inspire other people and employ other people, and make room for more and more voices and presence.”
4. Focus on your mind.
“I didn’t grow up thinking I was pretty; there was always a prettier girl than me. So I learned to be smart and tried to be funny and develop the inside of me, because I felt like that’s what I had.”
5. Don’t give up.
“I think all of us in our lives feel like we can’t make a difference or we can’t make a change or it’s too late or we’re too tired or we’re too scared.”
6. Take a holistic approach to self-care.
“My brain and my heart are really important to me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?”
7. It’s often hard to do the right thing.
“To meet somebody who’s able to harness the level of courage it takes to walk away and to choose your own life and your own health, the well-being of your family is really inspiring.”
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