Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Humanity

"Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer - into selflessness which links us with all humanity." - Nancy Astor, fully Lady Nancy Witcher Astor, Viscountess Astor

"A cheerful spirit is one of the most valuable gifts ever bestowed upon humanity by a kind Creator. It is the sweetest and the most fragrant flower of the Spirit, that constantly sends out its beauty and fragrance, and blesses everything within its reach. It will sustain the soul in the darkest and most dreary places of this world. It will hold in check the demons of despair, and stifle the power of discouragement and hopelessness. It is the brightest star that ever cast its radiance over the darkened soul, and one that seldom sets in the gloom of morbid fancies and foreboding imaginations." - Arthur Aughey

"A devotion to humanity... is too easily equated with a devotion to a Cause, and Causes, as we know, are notoriously bloodthirsty... Freedom is not something anybody can be given, freedom is something people take." -

"Unrequited love is the meaning of life. We’re here to love but not to be loved, to give but not receive. Our mission in this world is to improve humanity and leave a better history than we found. Only selfless love has such power. Only love without interest or expectation of reward can change human beings... To give love without receiving love is the truest love and brings the greatest happiness there is in life." - Adolfo Barcella

"A really great man is known by three signs - generosity in the design, humanity in the execution, moderation in success." -

"The fatal fondness of indulging in a spirit of ridicule, and the injurious and irreparable consequences which sometimes attend the too severe reply, can never be condemned with more asperity than it deserves. Not to offend is the first step towards pleasing. To give pain is as much an offence against humanity as against good-breeding, and surely it is as well to abstain from an action because it is sinful, as because it is unpolite." - Hugh Blair

"Freedom often means little more than the effective coordination of humanity in the achievement of economic ends." - Murray Bookchin

"The great duty of God’s children is to love one another. This duty on earth takes the name and form of the law of humanity. We are to recognize all men as brethren, no matter where born, or under what sky, or institution or religion they may live. Every man belongs to the race, and owes a duty to mankind... Men cannot, by combining themselves into narrower or larger societies, sever the sacred, blessed bond which joins them to their kind... The law of humanity must reign; over the assertion of all human rights." - William Ellery Channing

"No piled-up wealth, no social station, no throne, reaches as high as that spiritual plane upon which every human being stands by virtue of his humanity." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"Humanity is much more shown in our conduct towards animals, where we are irresponsible except to heaven, than towards our fellow-creatures, where we are restrained by the laws, by public opinion, and fear of retaliation." - Paul Chatfield, pseudonym for Horace Smith

"I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure personages is the only thing that can lead us to fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always irresistibly tempts its owners to abuse it." - Albert Einstein

"There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom. Shall we instead, choose death because we cannot forget quarrels? We appeal, as human beings, to human beings; remember your humanity and forget the rest. If you can do this, the way lies open to a new paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death." - Albert Einstein

"The dream, which fulfills its wishes by following the short regressive path, has thereby simply preserved for us a specimen of the primary method of operation of the psychic apparatus, which has been abandoned as inappropriate. What once prevailed in the waking state, when our psychic life was still young and inefficient, seems to have been banished into our nocturnal life; just as we still find in the nursery those discarded primitive weapons of adult humanity, the bow and arrow." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"Who lives for humanity, must be content to lose himself." - O. B. Frothingham, fully Octavius Brooks Frothingham

"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others." -

"The seven sins of the world. Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle." -

"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." -

"What our deepest self craves is not mere enjoyment, but some supreme purpose that will enlist all our powers and will give unity and direction to our life. We can never know the profoundest joy without a conviction that our life is significant - not a meaningless episode. The loftiest aim of human life is the ethical perfecting of mankind - the transfiguration of humanity." - Henry J. Golding

"Under bad manners, as under graver faults, lies very commonly an overestimate of our special individuality, as distinguished form our generic humanity." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"There is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher." - Victor Hugo

"... an emerging world based on cooperation rather than on competition, on affirmation rather than on competition, on affirmation of the human spirit rather than on self-doubt, and on the certainty that all humanity is connected." - Hal and Linda Kramer

"Peace of mind is essential for obtaining many virtues. Its absence leads to all types of shortcomings. When you have peace of mind, you can use your mind constructively. Lack of peace of mind breeds anger and resentment. The quality of one’s prayers and blessings is dependent on the mastery of one’s thoughts... Only when a person has peace of mind can he really feel love for humanity. Lack of peace of mind leads to animosity towards others. Peace of mind leads to love." - Yeruchem Levovitz, aka The Mashgiach

"Thus it is well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious, and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to change to the opposite qualities. And it must be understood that a prince, and especially a new prince, cannot observe all those things which are considered good in men, being often obliged, in order to maintain the state, to act against faith, against charity, against humanity, and against religion." -

"It is a common sense and self-interest to refrain from lashing out immediately to avenge an injury. A higher level of humanity is entirely overcoming feelings of vengeance in one’s heart. This is the glory of the morally wise man." - Leibush Malbim, aka Malbim, Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Yehiel Michal "the Malbim", Meïr Leibush ben Jehiel Michel Weiser

"The art of leading, in operations large or small, is the art of dealing with humanity, of working diligently on behalf of men, of being sympathetic with them, but equally, of insisting that they make a square facing toward their own problems." - S. L. A. Marshall, Samuel Lyman Atwood Marshall

"He who slayeth one man is as guilty as if he killed the whole human race. And he who saveth a soul accomplisheth a deed as meritorious as if he head saved all humanity." -

"Man gains freedom only through the use of his highest faculties. Materialism makes him more and more a slave to the forces of the phenomenal world... Our present-day materialism points in this direction - that is, in the direction of the enslavement of man by mechanisation and by its direct results, by state organisations, uniformity, the sacrifice of independent intelligence, the sweeping away of individual differences, local customs, local diversity, and all the infinite branchings of humanity that enrich life... Man is made free by ‘truth’. The truth spoken here is equated with mind. This kind of truth begins with self-knowledge." - Maurice Nicoll

""Every man has a price." This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others." -

"When one speaks of humanity, the idea is fundamental that this is something that separates and distinguishes man from nature. In reality, however, there is no such separation: ‘natural’ qualities and those called properly ‘human’ are indivisibly grown together. Man, in his highest and most noble capacities, is wholly nature and embodies its uncanny dual character. Those of his abilities which are awesome and considered inhuman are perhaps the fertile soil out of which alone all humanity... can grow." -

"We are not put here on earth to play around. There is work to be done. There are responsibilities to be met. Humanity needs the abilities of every man and woman." - Alden C. Palmer

"Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart to life, and is prophetic of eternal good." - Petrarch, anglicized from Italian name Francesco Petrarca NULL

"Love is the crowning grace of humanity, the holiest right of the soul, the golden link which binds us to duty and truth, the redeeming principle that chiefly reconciles the heart of life, and is prophetic of eternal good." - Petrarch, anglicized from Italian name Francesco Petrarca NULL

"We ought, in humanity, no more to despise a man for the misfortunes of the mind that for those of the body, when they are such as he cannot help; were this thoroughly considered we should no more laugh at a man for having his brains cracked than for having his brain broke." - Alexander Pope

"We are each put on this earth to make a particular contribution to humanity... Although God, the Almighty, has a plan for every one of us, He gives us choices. It is our responsibility to make the best of those choices in order to achieve our ultimate purpose." - Mary Lou Retton

"Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another." -

"It is in the law of our humanity that man must know good through evil. No great principle ever triumphed but through much evil. No man ever progressed to greatness and goodness but through great mistakes." -

"To renounce liberty is to renounce being a man, to surrender the rights of humanity and even its duties. For him who renounces everything no indemnity is possible. Such a renunciation is incompatible with man’s nature; to remove all liberty from his will is to remove all morality from his acts." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Humanity goes on and on almost in despair, hoping some time to find rest and peace and fullness of life in the undefined future, when, in fact, all these and more are here now if we would (could?) only reach out our hand and take them." - A. J. S. NULL

"He that lays down precepts for the governing of our lives, and moderating our passions, obliges humanity not only in the present, but in all future generations." -

"Humanity is fortune, because no man is unhappy except by his own fault." -

"Every human being bears the whole of humanity within himself or herself." - Karlheinz Stockhausen

"The truest grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, sustained, enlightened, and decorated by the intellect of man." - Charles Sumner

"Man’s abiding happiness is not in getting anything but in giving himself up to what is greater than himself, to ideas which are larger than his individual life, the idea of his country, of humanity, of God." -

"I am a man, and whatever concerns humanity is of interest to me." -

"Dependence is a perpetual call upon humanity, and a greater incitement to tenderness and pity than any other motive whatever." - William Makepeace Thackeray

"Everybody thinks of changing humanity and nobody thinks of changing himself." -

"What do you call Love, Hate, Charity, Revenge, Humanity, Magnanimity, Forgiveness? Different results of the one Master Impulse: the necessity of securing one's self-approval." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"Liberty, equality - bad principles! The only true principle for humanity is justice, and justice towards the feeble becomes necessarily protection or kindness." -