Here you’ll find quotations about humanity as a collective whole, about the quality of humanity in how we act, and about what makes us human.
Religion is a shared quest for the values of the good life, the age-long, groping effect of [humanity] to create the social order in which human powers may flower in joyous fulfillment.
The Holy Prophet Mohammed came into this world and taught us: ‘That man is a Muslim who never hurts anyone by word or deed, but who works for the benefit and happiness of God’s creatures. Belief in God is to love one’s fellow men.’
Just imagine, among 8.7 million species, only one has become smart enough to ponder over the meaning of life. This simple evolutionary fact itself implies the gravitas of human life.
You are human only when the very title sends a galvanic wave of courage and conscience into the hearts of others. You are human only when any creature bearing that title becomes near and dear to you, no matter their faith, language and culture.
A religious man is a person who holds God and man in one thought at one time, at all times, who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair.
Our concern is not how to worship in the catacombs, but how to remain human in the skyscrapers
God must love the common man, he made so many of them.
No man is good enough to govern another man without his consent.
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.
The first step in the evolution of ethics is a sense of solidarity with other human beings.
The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human.
Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted.
The more I see of the representatives of the people, the more I admire my dogs.
Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom.
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.
The experience of the race shows that we get our most important education not through books but through our work. We are developed by our daily task, or else demoralized by it, as by nothing else.
Every renaissance comes to the world with a cry, the cry of the human spirit to be free.
Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences.
The authentic human has the might of compassion and the creative power to do any manner of good.
Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. more
Love, like truth and beauty, is concrete. Love is not fundamentally a sweet feeling; not, at heart, a matter of sentiment, attachment, or being “drawn toward.” Love is active, effective, a matter of making reciprocal and mutually beneficial relation with one’s friends and enemies.
Love creates righteousness, or justice, here on earth. To make love is to make justice. As advocates and activists for justice know, loving involves struggle, resistance, risk. People working today on behalf of women, blacks, lesbians and gay men, the aging, the poor in this country and elsewhere know that making justice is not a warm, fuzzy experience. I think also that sexual lovers and good friends know that the most compelling relationships demand hard work, patience, and a willingness to endure tensions and anxiety in creating mutually empowering bonds.
For this reason loving involves commitment. We are not automatic lovers of self, others, world, or God. Love does not just happen. We are not love machines, puppets on the strings of a deity called “love.” Love is a choice — not simply, or necessarily, a rational choice, but rather a willingness to be present to others without pretense or guile. Love is a conversion to humanity — a willingness to participate with others in the healing of a broken world and broken lives. Love is the choice to experience life as a member of the human family, a partner in the dance of life, rather than as an alien in the world or as a deity above the world, aloof and apart from human flesh.
We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.
The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs.
There is a certain way of being human that is my way. I am called upon to live my life in this way, and not in imitation of anyone else’s life. But this notion gives a new importance to being true to myself. If I am not, I miss the point of my life; I miss what being human is for me.
The earth is too small a star and we too brief a visitor upon it for anything to matter more than the struggle for peace.
Sometimes, I am also identified as a civil rights leader or a human rights activist. I would also like to be thought of as a complex, three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood human being with a rich storehouse of experiences, much like everyone else, yet unique in my own way, much like everyone else.
Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.
The UN was not created to take mankind to heaven, but to save humanity from hell.
Human beings are works in progress that mistakenly think they’re finished.
Indeed, to some extent it has always been necessary and proper for man, in his thinking, to divide things up, if we tried to deal with the whole of reality at once, we would be swamped. However when this mode of thought is applied more broadly to man’s notion of himself and the whole world in which he lives, (i.e. in his world-view) then man ceases to regard the resultant divisions as merely useful or convenient and begins to see and experience himself and this world as actually constituted of separately existing fragments. What is needed is a relativistic theory, to give up altogether the notion that the world is constituted of basic objects or building blocks. Rather one has to view the world in terms of universal flux of events and processes.
This is a diseased world in which it is impossible for anyone to be fully human. One way or another, everyone who lives in the modern world is sick or maladjusted.
We are not broken, we are just unfinished.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.
Compassion will no longer be seen as a spiritual luxury for a contemplative few; rather it will be viewed as a social necessity for the entire human family.
As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.
It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.
We must join in an effort to use all knowledge for the good of all human beings. When we do that we shall have nothing to fear.
Human beings were given a secret and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again.
It is not so much that man is a herd animal, said Freud, but that he is a horde animal led by a chief.
All human eyes have longing in them.
May the humanity that is within every human being be held precious. The vice that underlies all vices is that we are held cheap by others, and far worse, that in our innermost soul we think cheaply of ourselves.
A human being is not to be handled as a tool but is to be respected and revered.
The human race may be compared to a writer. At the outset a writer has often only a vague general notion of the plan of his work, and of the thought he intends to elaborate. As he proceeds, penetrating his material, laboring to express himself fitly, he lays a firmer grasp on his thought; he finds himself. So the human race is writing its story, finding itself, discovering its own underlying purpose, revising, recasting a tale pathetic often, yet none the less sublime.
There is as yet no civilized society, but only a society in the process of becoming civilized. There is as yet no civilized nation, but only nations in the process of becoming civilized. From this standpoint, we can now speak of a collective task of humankind. The task of humanity is to build a genuine civilization.
One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.
What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal.
Is man one of God’s blunders? Or is God one of man’s blunders?
What then in the last resort are the truths of mankind? They are the irrefutable errors of mankind.
What can everyone do? Praise and blame. This is human virtue, this is human madness.