When you think of American literature, what classic writers come to mind? Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, or Robert Frost? How about Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, or F. Scott Fitzgerald? Looking back to your experience in your high school English class or even taking a college course on these timeless classic authors, you will be left with an impression from a piece of writing in some form - whether it be a poetic piece or an everlasting novel. For me, I look back to an old classic tale set in Maycomb, Alabama where prominent and fair lawyer Atticus Finch and his venturesome children Jem and Scout, learn about the trials of life and the understanding of empathy. If you're thinking of the 1960's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" you would be correct. This novel has struck a chord with me since my ninth grade English class at Cherokee High School; to this day the novel forces you to open your eyes to the realities of hatred, prejudices, and most importantly putting humanity above all else.

"The book to read is not one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think." - Harper Lee.

I could not agree more with this quote by Harper Lee, the author of the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird". Not only do I recommend you read this book in your lifetime (or even re-read it again at some point) but hopefully these 16 quotes directly from the book will make you want to pick up the quintessential all-American story and cause you to think about the relevance to life it had years ago, life today, and for many years to come. More importantly, the lessons learned and the quotes given should have taught us these lessons even though we continue to see these awful practices mentioned above, nowadays. We should strive to abide by the wisdom this book provides us.

1. "People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for."

2. "It's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you."

3. "Before I can live with others folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."

4. "Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of another."

5. "There are just some kind of men who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one."

6. "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

7. "Atticus told me to delete the adjectives and I'd have the facts."

8. "Just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change."

9. "I've never met a strong person with an easy past."

10. "What good are wings without the courage to fly."

11. "I worry there is something broken with our generation; there are so many sad eyes on happy faces."

12. "There's a lot of ugly things in this world, son. I wish I could keep 'em all away from you. That's never possible."

13. "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."

14. "Atticus, he was real nice." "Most people are Scout, when you finally see them."

15. "It's not necessary to tell all you know. It's not ladylike -in the second place, folks don't like to have someone around knowin' more than they do. It aggravates 'em. You're not gonna change any of them by talkin' right, they've got to want to learn themselves, and when they don't want to learn there's nothing you can do but keep your mouth shut or talk their language."

16. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up peoples gardens, don't nest in corn cribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it is a sin to kill a mockingbird."