On Humanity

ON HUMANITY

  • “We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings.” ~ Albert Einstein
  • “Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is.”~ Albert Camus
  • “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~ Mohandas Gandhi
  • “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Is the system going to flatten you out and deny you your humanity, or are you going to be able to make use of the system to the attainment of human purposes?”  ~ Joseph Campbell
  • “One way or another, we all have to find what best fosters the flowering of our humanity in this contemporary life, and dedicate ourselves to that.”  ~ Joseph Campbell
  • “The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
  • “Great talents are the most lovely and often the most dangerous fruits on the tree of humanity. They hang upon the most slender twigs that are easily snapped off.” ~ Carl Jung
  • “By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers, as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
  • “Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.” ~ Isaac Asimov
  • “Everything has been figured out, except how to live.”  ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
  • “Our responsibility is much greater than we might have supposed, because it involves all of mankind.”  ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
  • “A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”  ~ Albert Einstein
  • “We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.” ~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace 
  • “The world is what it is; men who are nothing, who allow themselves to become nothing, have no place in it.”  ~ V. S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River
  • “The smallest act in the most limited circumstances bears the seed of the same boundlessness, because one deed, and sometimes one word, suffices to change every constellation.”  ~ Hannah Arendt
  • “The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it.” ~ David W. Orr, Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World
  • “I know that man is capable of great deeds. But if he isn’t capable of great emotion, well, he leaves me cold.”  ~ Albert Camus, The Plague 
  • “I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”  ~  Joan Didion
  • “Nobody even imagines how well one can lie about the state of one’s own heart.” ~ Yukio Mishima, Thirst for Love 
  • “Most people go through life using up half their energy trying to protect a dignity they never had” ~ Raymond Chandler
  • “Years later, another member [of the Royal Geographical Society] conceded, ‘Explorers are not, perhaps, the most promising people with whom to build a society. Indeed, some might say that explorers become explorers precisely because they have a streak of unsociability and a need to remove themselves at regular intervals as far as possible from their fellow men.’ ” ~ David Grann, The Lost City of Z
  • “Death left its old tragic heaven and became the lyrical core of man: his invisible truth, his visible secret.” ~  Michel Foucault, The Birth of the Clinic

  • “People are no longer primarily in opposition, nor can they be said to be interacting, rather they are participating in this pool of common meaning which is capable of constant development and change.” ~ David Bohm
  • “How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?”   ~ Orhan Pamuk, Snow

  • “Why do people have to be this lonely? What’s the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” ~  Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart 

  • “The society we have described can never grow into a reality or see the light of day, and there will be no end to the troubles of states, or indeed, my dear Glaucon, of humanity itself, till philosophers become rulers in this world, or till those we now call kings and rulers really and truly become philosophers, and political power and philosophy thus come into the same hands.” ~ Plato, Republic

  • “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ~ Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • “The current generation now sees everything clearly, it marvels at the errors, it laughs at the folly of its ancestors, not seeing that this chronicle is all overscored by divine fire, that every letter of it cries out, that from everywhere the piercing finger is pointed at it, at this current generation; but the current generation laughs and presumptuously, proudly begins a series of new errors, at which their descendants will also laugh afterwards.” ~  Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls
  •  “There are no secrets about the world of nature. There are secrets about the thoughts and intentions of men.” ~ J. Robert Oppenheimer 

     

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