I think nothing quite captures the spirit of Harper Lee than this story below.
In 2006, A young fan asked Harper Lee for her autographed picture, she wrote a letter replying this young fan who had asked for a picture by offering up some advice. The note reads:
I don’t have a picture of myself, so please accept these few lines:
As you grow up, always tell the truth, do no harm to others, and don’t think you are the most important being on earth. Rich or poor, you then can look anyone in the eye and say, “I’m probably no better than you, but I’m certainly your equal.”
Some beautiful quotes from and about this brilliant and astute mind:
1. “Before I can live with other folks, I’ve got to live with myself.”
2. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
3. “Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who – who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
4. “You know, there were two big revolutions in the ’60s in this country when To Kill a Mockingbird came out: One was civil rights and the other was women’s rights. And in a way, To Kill a Mockingbird speaks to both those things.” ~ Mary Murphy
5. “A hundred pounds of sermons on tolerance, or an equal measure of invective deploring the lack of it, will weigh far less in the scale of enlightenment than a mere eighteen ounces of new fiction bearing the title To Kill a Mockingbird.” ~Washington Post Review of her book in 1961
6. “The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.”
7. “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
8. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
9. “Shoot all the blue jays you want, if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing except make music for us to enjoy. ~From the book, To Kill a Mockingbird.
10. “People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.”