We win justice quickest by rendering justice to the other party.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
Humanity cherishes its swaddling clothes; but it shall not grow up unless it can free itself from them. Turning down his mother’s breast does not make the weaned child ungrateful. … Rise up naked, valiant; make the sheaths crack; push aside the stakes; to grow straight you need no more than the thrust of your sap and the call of the sun.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
Mutability of temper and inconsistency with ourselves is the greatest weakness of human nature.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
Consider your breed; you were not made to live like beasts, but to follow virtue and knowledge.
—Dante Alighieri (1265–1321) Italian Poet, Philosopher
I am a man, and whatever concerns humanity is of interest to me.
—Terence (c.195–159 BCE) Roman Comic Dramatist
Of all the ways of defining man, the worst is the one which makes him out to be a rational animal.
—Anatole France (1844–1924) French Novelist
It is not enough to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others. In this world so filled with problems, so constantly threatened by dark and evil challenges, you can and must rise above mediocrity, above indifference. You can become involved and speak with a strong voice for that which is right.
—Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) American Mormon Religious Leader
Each man is haunted until his humanity awakens.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
We are all murderers and prostitutes—no matter to what culture, society, class, nation one belongs, no matter how normal, moral, or mature, one takes oneself to be.
—R. D. Laing (1927–89) Scottish Psychiatrist
As the archeology of our thought easily shows, man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.
—Michel Foucault (1926–84) French Philosopher, Critic, Historian
If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another.
—Winston Churchill (1874–1965) British Head of State, Political leader, Historian, Journalist, Author
What makes you think that human beings are sentient and aware? There’s no evidence for it. Human beings never think for themselves, they find it too uncomfortable. For the most part, members of our species simply repeat what they are told – and become upset if they are exposed to any different view. The characteristic human trait is not awareness but conformity, and the characteristic result is religious warfare. Other animals fight for territory or food; but, uniquely in the animal kingdom, human beings fight for their beliefs. The reason is that beliefs guide behavior, which has evolutionary importance among human beings. But at a time when our behavior may well lead us to extinction, I see no reason to assume we have any awareness at all. We are stubborn, self-destructive conformists. Any other view of our species is a self-congratulatory delusion.
—Michael Crichton (1942–2008) American Novelist, Film Producer, Film Director, Screenwriter
Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose.
Humanity is never so beautiful as when praying for forgiveness, or else forgiving another.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
Close by the Rights of Man, at the least set beside them, are the Rights of the Spirit.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
everyone who is human has something to express. Try not expressing yourself for twenty-four hours and see what happens. You will nearly burst. You will want to write a long letter, or draw a picture, or sing, or make a dress or a garden.
—Brenda Ueland (1891–1985) American Journalist Memoirist
Man has, as it were, become a kind of prosthetic God. When he puts on all his auxiliary organs, he is truly magnificent; but those organs have not grown on him and they still give him much trouble at times.
—Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Austrian Psychiatrist, Psychoanalytic
Zeal without humanity is like a ship without a rudder, liable to be stranded at any moment.
—Owen Feltham (1602–1668) English Essayist
Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
Man is not only a contributory creature, but a total creature; he does not only make one, but he is all; he is not a piece of the world, but the world itself; and next to the glory of God, the reason why there is a world.
—John Donne (1572–1631) English Poet, Cleric
One has but to observe a community of beavers at work in a stream to understand the loss in his sagacity, balance, co-operation, competence, and purpose which Man has suffered since he rose up on his hind legs. He began to chatter and he developed Reason, Thought, and Imagination, qualities which would get the smartest group of rabbits or orioles in the world into inextricable trouble overnight.
Man is a machine and in the whole universe there is but a single substance, matter, variously modified.
—Julien Offray de La Mettrie (1709–51) French Physician, Philosopher
There are times when one would like to hang the whole human race, and finish the farce.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
When all is done, human life is, at the greatest and the best, but like a froward child, that must be played with and humored a little to keep it quiet till it falls asleep, and then the care is over.
—William Temple (1881–1944) British Clergyman, Theologian
There is but one temple in the world, and that is the body of man.—Nothing is holier than this high form.—We touch heaven when we lay our hand on a human body.
—Novalis (1772–1801) German Romantic Poet, Novelist
I teach you the Overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? … The time has come for man to set himself a goal. The time has come to plant the seed to his highest hope.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
Man has demonstrated that he is master of everything—except his own nature.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
It is a pleasure to give advice, humiliating to need it, normal to ignore it.
How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright