Quotes for teens on life lessons

Quote for teens about connection and responsibility- 'You are connected to a family, a community, a world. Use your power wisely.'

"You are connected to a family, a community, a world.
Use your power wisely.”

-- Truth Be Told Quotes

You have tremendous power. Everything you do sets off a cascade of ripple effects that impacts your family, your community, your world. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Some actions set off rolling waves of goodness that raise up those around you. Some actions set off a tsunami that swamps others in the lumpy sewage of your consequences. In every careless or thoughtful act, you are the master of your universe. What kind of waves do you want to create?

Teaching resources

Bring this quote into your classroom with a lesson guide and activities that are ready to use.

Quote Overview / Description

Quote about responsibility and impact

This quote is about recognizing the connection each of us has to our family, our community, our world. The teen years are inherently self-focused, but that self-absorption can be dramatically increased by our current culture. This quote is about remembering that we are not alone. All of our actions (or inactions) have consequences for ourselves and for the people around us. For example,

  • A teen who runs out to be with her friends but forgets to feed the dog has a negative impact on the dog.
  • A teen who drives while texting can not only hurt themselves, they could cause life-long injury to someone else.
  • A young adult who reaches out to a lonely neighbor can have a tremendously positive impact on that person‘s life as well as build their own sense of self.
  • A young adult who does something seemingly small and foolish can seriously impact his or her family’s well being and finances.
  • A teen who stands up to a bully on behalf of another can save a life.

This quote is to help teens see they are not alone. In fact they have tremendous power to do good or to do harm. In constant moments throughout life, young adults get to decide which type of impact they want to have. That’s an amazing power, and responsibility.

Discussion questions / Writing Prompts

Questions to prompt discussion, journaling, essays for high school health class and social emotional development lessons:

  1. In this quote, what does it mean to “use your power wisely”?
  2. What is the symbolism of the image behind the quote?
  3. What are some small ways you’ve seen people make a positive difference is someone’s life?
  4. Imagine it’s 5 years from now and the local newspaper is writing short paragraphs on people in the neighborhood. They ask around at your school, or work, or among your friends, neighbors, family. What would you want those people to say about you? How does that affect the choices you want to make today?
  5. Describe a time when your actions had consequences you didn’t anticipate. Were they good or bad?
  6. What is a random act of kindness you could do this week?
  7. What kind of waves do you want to create? How would you like to be remembered?



Activities and worksheets for teen SEL / high school health and wellness lessons:

Worksheets, Journaling, Mindfulness

  1. Connected Choices / Consequences Journaling Prompt- Students explore their own choices, consequences, and impact.
  2. Choices and Benefits Worksheet- Students see that making good choices helps them reach goals, have better relationships, improve self esteem.
  3. Connecting Choices and Consequences Worksheet- Students see the connection between choices and how the consequences feel in the long run.
  4. Choices and Consequences Movie Scene Worksheet- Students write a movie scene that shows how choices impact both the decision maker and the people around them.

Kindness activity ideas

Try some of these ideas for acts of kindness from Random Acts of Kindness. Or, try a Ripple effects of Kindness Video- Watch one of these videos that shows the ripple effects of being kind. Discuss how the video makes students feel. How would being kind in their own lives feel?

Coloring Pages

Download printable coloring pages for a mindfulness activity that features this quote.

  1. Classic coloring page
  2. Butterfly Matrix coloring page
  3. Shared Waves coloring page
  4. Forest Animals coloring page

Curriculum Topics

High School Health Class / Social Emotional Development Core Curriculum Alignment:

  • Emotional and social wellness
  • Decision making in risky situations
  • Role of self in healthy community and family relationships
  • Sense of control over your own life
  • Carrying out personal and social responsibilities


  • Your actions impact others’ health and well being
  • Consider consequences before acting
  • You can have a positive or negative impact, the choice is yours

Character Traits/Values

  • Responsibility
  • Respect
  • Self control
  • Caring

The quote and opening paragraph of this page are an excerpt from the Book, Truth Be Told Quotes: Teen Edition. Presented with permission from the author, Colleen Doyle Bryant. ©LoveWell Press. Find the print and ebook versions of Truth Be Told Quotes on the Shop page.

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Colleen Doyle Bryant

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curriculums around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen's latest release for an adult audience, explores what happened to common decency and how we can get to a place of more cooperation and kindness. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com.

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