We have just witnessed the Republican and Democratic Conventions; two events separated by vastly different tones that clearly demonstrate our nation's division. For many Americans this is a difficult time. But regardless of your concern, or your politics, one thing is certain: no one can take away your power of choice. We all have the privilege of choosing our political candidate, as well as choosing how we, as individuals, contribute to the betterment of this country, our  communities, even our own families. No one is powerless.

Here are fifty  quotes, the number chosen to represent the fifty states that America is comprised of, to help inspire you to use your voice and to stand proudly, and without judgment, behind what you believe in the most.

Choice

"To say you have no choice is to relieve yourself of responsibility."--Patrick Ness, Monsters of Men

"When you make a choice, you change the future."--Deepak Chopra

"Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you."--Jim Rohn

"Choice, not chance, determines your destiny."--Aristotle

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."--William Jennings Bryan

"What people have the capacity to choose, they have the ability to change."--Madeleine K. Albright

"Happiness, like unhappiness, is a proactive choice."--Stephen R. Covey

"There are no safe choices. Only other choices."--Libba Bray, A Great and Terrible Beauty

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking."--Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

"What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?"--Jim Butcher, White Night

"Everything's a choice. Nobody's born good. Nobody's born evil. It's always a choice."--Tom Hiddleston

Unity

2"We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided."--J.K. Rowling

"One love, one heart. Let's get together and feel all right"--Bob Marley

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you."--Winston S. Churchill

"Unity is vision; it must have been part of the process of learning to see."--Henry Adams

"One race, Many cultures, One place."--Geoffrey M. Gluckman, Deadly Exchange

"Individuality or Unity? I say there's room for both."--Brian Celio

"The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens"--Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas: The Most Holy Book

"The world is round so that friendship may encircle it."--Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

"Build bridges, not walls."--Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun

"Two things are needed to raise awareness: education and love. And these go hand in hand because we can be taught to love."--Kamand Kojouri

"Teach your children to think "we" not "them" and "us."--Marty Rubin

"Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough."--Franklin D. Roosevelt

"One person is nothing. Two people are a nation."--Terry Pratchett

"There are 2 kinds of fighters: those who fight because they hate, and those who fight because they love."--Criss Jami

"What a mighty nation, we will be, if we encourage one another?"--Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom

"It is not what we have that will make us a great nation; it is the way in which we use it."-- Teddy Roosevelt

Patriotism

"I venture to suggest that patriotism is not a short and frenzied outburst of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime."--Adlai E. Stevenson II

"Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."-- George W. Bush

"In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it."--Barack Obama

"Patriots always talk of dying for their country but never of killing for their country."--Bertrand Russell

"I should like to be able to love my country and still love justice."--Albert Camus

"We need to revitalize the American spirit. People are always asking 'What would the founding fathers do,' but I have yet to witness a single séance."--Bauvard, Some Inspiration for the Overenthusiastic

"Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it."--Mark Twain

Freedom

"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred."--Martin Luther King Jr.

"Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes."--Mahatma Gandhi

"Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free."--Jim Morrison

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide."--Napoléon Bonaparte

"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all."--Noam Chomsky

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."--Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."--Nelson Mandela

"Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."--Pope John Paul II

"Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life."--Bob Marley

"We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it."--William Faulkner, Essays, Speeches & Public Letters

"The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage."--Carrie Jones, Need

"Freedom is what we do with what is done to us."--Jean-Paul Sartre

"If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That's much more powerful than rebelling outside the system."--Marie Lu, Legend

"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."--Nelson Mandela

"Those who do not move, do not notice their chains."--Rosa Luxemburg

"Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind."--John Milton, Comus

Published on: Aug 1, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.