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Bob Marley Quotes That Will Shift Your Perspective for the Better
bob marley quotes
JAMAICA - CIRCA 1964: Photo of Bob Marley, 1964, Jamaica, Bob Marley (with The Wailers), L-R: Bunny Wailer, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Bob Marley Quotes That Will Shift Your Perspective for the Better

Bob Marley was—and indeed, is—a world-famous Jamaican reggae musician. 

Born in the parish of St. Ann, Jamaica in 1945, Marley was a living legend known not only for his beautiful, inspiring music, but for being a politically conscious figure who integrated concepts of empowerment, love, contentment, spirituality, and social justice into his art form. 

He truly never avoided making a statement, even if controversial. He was known for denouncing society’s obsession with western consumerism and the constant race for money and material things.

Early career

Marley began his career in a band called the Wailers in the early 60s. 

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By the late 1960s, he had become a Rastafarian, which influenced his music heavily. In the 1970s, he formed the band Bob Marley and the Wailers, and the group released several highly successful albums that effectively introduced the entire world to reggae. In 1981, however, Marley’s life was cut short when he died of cancer at the age of 36. 

Life after death

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(Al Pereira / Contributor / Getty)

At his funeral, Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga delivered the final eulogy to Marley, saying: “His voice was an omnipresent cry in our electronic world. His sharp features, majestic looks, and prancing style a vivid etching on the landscape of our minds. Bob Marley was never seen. He was an experience which left an indelible imprint with each encounter. Such a man cannot be erased from the mind. He is part of the collective consciousness of the nation.”

Although his life was cut tragically short, Marley’s musical talents and inspiring messages are still very much alive. His music was teeming with meaningful lyrics which encouraged listeners to seek a higher purpose in life and his messages are still here to expand the hearts and minds of anyone willing to listen.


Bob Marley quotes to brighten your day

Bob Marley was a major proponent of the power of positivity, and you’d be a damn fool not to enjoy a few of his best quotes on the topic.


“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.”

“One love, one heart, one destiny.”

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(Jacques Pavlovsky / Contributor / Getty)

“Don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright.”

“Though the road's been rocky it sure feels good to me.”

“One love, one heart…let’s get together and feel all right.”

“You just can’t live in that negative way…make way for the positive day.”

“My future is righteousness.”

“Things will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

“You’re on a positive road. You have some type of direction where you’re going, so you have to just keep ongoing.”

“When one door is closed, don’t you know, another is open.”


Bob Marley inspirational quotes

Most of us could use some quality motivational quotes now and then; after all, the world as we know it can be a discouraging place. Of course, Bob had a few words of wisdom on the matter. 


“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.”

“Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery. None but ourselves can free our minds.”

“You have to be someone.”

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(Michael Ochs Archives / Handout / Getty)

“My feet is my only carriage so I’ve got to push on through.”

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”

“You not supposed to feel down over what happen to you. I mean, you’re supposed to use whatever happen to you as some type of upper, not a downer.”

“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!”

“If you don't start somewhere, you're gonna go nowhere.”

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(Michael Ochs Archives / Handout / Getty)

“My fear is my only courage.”

Bob Marley quotes about love and relationships

Woman or man, it’s a rare one among us who can’t use a little guidance in the arena of love. As luck would have it, Bob had many thoughts to share with the lovers of the world.


“You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible.”

“Love hard when there is love to be had.”

“If she's amazing, she won't be easy. If she's easy, she won't be amazing. If she's worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you're not worthy. ... Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”

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“You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it. You say you love sun, but you seek shelter when it is shining. You say you love wind, but when it comes you close your windows. So that's why I'm scared when you say you love me.”

“There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are.

“The winds that sometimes take something we love, are the same that bring us something we learn to love. Therefore we should not cry about something that was taken from us, but, yes, love what we have been given. Because what is really ours is never gone forever.”

“You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon.”

“The biggest coward of a man is to awaken the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.”

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can ... a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end.”

“If you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you can love the right one.”

“I will never regret you or say I wish I’d never met you, because once upon a time, you were exactly what I needed.”

“Don’t trust people whose feelings change with time. Trust people whose feelings remain the same, even when the time changes.”

“There will never be no love at all.”


Bob Marley quotes on material wealth

Most of us spend a good deal of our time chasing down money, wealth, stability. But Bob Marley saw the limitations of the material world very clearly and was able to articulate what he saw with great eloquence and wisdom.


“Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold.”

“In the abundance of water a fool is thirsty.”

“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.”

“The day you stop racing is the day you win the race.”

bob marley quotes
(Chris Walter / Contributor / Getty)

“Me only have one ambition, y'know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together - black, white, Chinese, everyone - that's all.”

“Money can’t buy life.”

“If something can corrupt you, you're corrupted already.”

“When the race gets hard to run. It means you just can’t take the peace.”

“Money is numbers and numbers never end. If it takes money to be happy, your search for happiness will never end.” 

“Love, friendship, laughter...some of the best things in life really are free.”

Bob Marley quotes on justice

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(Gie Knaeps / Contributor / Getty)

We can’t talk about the wisdom that Bob Marley imparted without addressing the strong thread of social, racial, and class justice woven throughout everything he did. Let the following quotes inspire you to do right by the world around you.  

“Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned—everywhere is war, me say war.”

“Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.”

“Live for yourself and you will live in vain; live for others, and you will live again.”

“Judge not unless you judge yourself.”

“The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?”

“Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don't give up the fight.”

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(Michael Ochs Archives / Handout / Getty)

“Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen. ”

“Tell the children the truth.”

“You entertain people who are satisfied. Hungry people can't be entertained - or people who are afraid. You can't entertain a man who has no food.”

"Prejudice is a chain, it can hold you. If you prejudice, you can't move, you keep prejudice for years. Never get nowhere with that.”

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“If you know your history, then you would know where you coming from, then you wouldn’t have to ask me, who the heck do I think I am.”

Bob Marley quotes on spirituality

Bob Marley was a strong proponent of the Rastafarian faith and its values, which is reflected strongly in the spiritual flavor of so many of his lyrics. Whether you identify as spiritual/religious or not, there are lessons to be gleaned from his many powerful statements on higher purpose and power.

“I don't stand for black man's side, I don't stand for white man's side, I stand for God's side.”

“If puss and dog can get together, why can’t we love one another?”

“I don’t believe in death, neither in flesh nor in spirit.”

“Truth is the light, so you never give up the fight.”

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(Allan Tannenbaum / Contributor / Getty)

“If you get down and quarrel every day, you’re saying prayers to the devil, I say.”

“Some people say great God come from the sky take away everything and make everybody feel high, but if you know what life is worth, you will look for yours on earth.”

“Life and Jah are one and the same. Jah is the gift of existence. I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated. The singularity of every man and woman is Jah’s gift. What we struggle to make of it is our sole gift to Jah. The process of what that struggle becomes, in time, the Truth.”

“And no matter what game they play, we got something they can never take away.”

“Never expect God to do for you what you don’t do to others.”

“What important is man should live in righteousness, in natural love for mankind.”

Strong Bob Marley quotes on life

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(Rob Verhorst / Contributor / Getty)

If you move through life without the occasional need for some quality perseverance quotes to fortify you, you’re a rare exception! Drink of Bob’s illuminating insight, why don’t you?

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?”

“You can fool some people sometimes, but you can’t fool all the people all the time.”

“The problem is people are being hated when they are real, and are being loved when they are fake.”

“Your worst enemy could be your best friend and your best friend your worst enemy.”

“Beginnings are usually scary, and endings are usually sad, but it’s everything in between that makes it all worth living.”

“When the root is strong, the fruit is sweet.”

“Well, the biggest man you ever did see once was just a baby.” 

“In this bright future you can't forget your past.”

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“Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny.”

In conclusion

That’s it—your dosage of life-altering sagacity for the day. 

If you’d like to deepen the Bob Marley experience even further, try listening to some of his tunes—at full volume, of course! One love.

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