Love is a central fact of human life, both a feeling and an action.  Love puts a priority on the well-being of another. Love can include romantic love, the love of family members and close friends, or a more universal love.  Love involves a deep affection and caring, often out of kinship ties or modeled on kinship ties (thus “love of humanity” is about feeling all of humanity as part of your family). Love can be passionate and intense or tranquil and peaceful.

What have famous writers and thinkers offered us, as reflections on love?

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If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart…I’ll always be with you.

— A. A. Milne, Christopher Robin to Winnie-the-Pooh, Pooh’s Grand Adventure

Humanity is not without answers or solutions regarding how to liberate itself from scenarios that invariably end with mass exterminations. Tools such as compassion, trust, empathy, love, and ethical discernment are already in our possession. The next sensible step would be to use them.

— Aberjhani

Raghead (The Sonnet)
Some call me raghead,
Some call me desert dweller.
Some call me curry-breath,
Some call me f-ing nigger.
This is not just my story,
But of every person of color.
In a world stolen by whites,
Anything non-white is inferior.
Upon receiving so much hate,
I admit, sometimes I do feel gloomy.
I know how it is to be cussed everyday,
So I choose love no matter the agony.
The tradition of hate has gone on long enough.
I choose to be the break in habit on the world’s behalf.

— Abhijit Naskar, Handcrafted Humanity: 100 Sonnets For A Blunderful World

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.

— Abraham Joshua Heschel

It is a curious thought, but it is only when you see people looking ridiculous that you realize just how much you love them.

— Agatha Christie

When you learn to say yes to yourself, you will be able to say no to others, with love.

— Alan Cohen

So then, the relationship of self to other is the complete realization that loving yourself is impossible without loving everything defined as other than yourself.

— Alan Watts

No work or love will flourish out of guilt, fear, or hollowness of heart, just as no valid plans for the future can be made by those who have no capacity for living now.

— Alan Watts

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that ….
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy.
For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

— Albert Camus

However rare true love may be, it is less so than true friendship.

— Albert Einstein

Thought cannot avoid the ethical or reverence and love for all life. It will abandon the old confined systems of ethics and be forced to recognize the ethics that knows no bounds. But on the other hand, those who believe in love for all creation must realize clearly the difficulties involved in the problem of a boundless ethic and must be resolved not to veil from [humankind] the conflicts which this ethic will involve [us], but allow [us] really to experience them. To think out in every implication the ethic of love for all creation — this is the difficult task which confronts our age.

— Albert Schweitzer

Love casts out fear; but conversely fear casts out love. And not only love. Fear also casts out intelligence, casts out goodness, casts out all thought of beauty and truth.

— Aldous Huxley

Love, free as air, at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.

— Alexander Pope

Love the offender, yet detest the offense.

— Alexander Pope

Learn to live well, or fairly make your will;
You’ve play’d, and lov’d, and ate, and drank your fill;
Walk sober off, before a sprightlier age
Comes titt’ring on, and shoves you from the stage.

— Alexander Pope

We only regard those unions as real examples of love and real marriages in which a fixed and unalterable decision has been taken. If men or women contemplate an escape, they do not collect all their powers for the task. In none of the serious and important tasks of life do we arrange such a “getaway.” We cannot love and be limited.

— Alfred Adler

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I would walk in a garden forever.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

’Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

— Alfred Lord Tennyson

To acknowledge our ancestors means we are aware that we did not make ourselves…We remember them because it is an easy thing to forget: that we are not the first to suffer, rebel, fight, love, and die.

— Alice Walker

Anger is not a sustainable emotion in and of itself. It has to be transformed into a deep love for the possibility of who we can be.

— Alicia Garza

To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic.

— Alphonse de Lamartine

Love: a temporary insanity, curable by marriage.

— Ambrose Bierce

In every crisis, doubt or confusion, take the higher path — the path of compassion, courage, understanding and love.

— Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it’s when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.

— Amy Bloom

All intimacy is rare — that’s what makes it precious. And it involves the revelation of one’s self and the loving gaze upon another’s true self (no makeup, no fancy car, no defensive charm, no seduction) — that’s what makes it so damn hard. Intimacy requires honesty and kindness in almost equal measure (a little more kindness, I think), trust and trustworthiness, forgiveness and the capacity to be forgiven . . . It’s more than worth it — just don’t let them tell you it’s bliss.

— Amy Bloom

Celebrate who you are in your deepest heart. Love yourself and the world will love you.

— Amy Leigh Mercree

I am like a falling star who has finally found her place next to another in a lovely constellation, where we will sparkle in the heavens forever.

— Amy Tan

Throw your dreams into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country.

— Anaïs Nin

Everything with me is either worship and passion or pity and understanding. I hate rarely, though when I hate, I hate murderously.

— Anaïs Nin, Henry and June

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.

— Anaïs Nin

The power of love itself weakens and gradually becomes lost with age, like all the other energies of man.

— Anatole France

I saw that you were perfect, and so I loved you. Then I saw that you were not perfect and I loved you even more.

— Angelita Lim

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.

— Ann Landers

We can sometimes love what we do not understand, but it is impossible completely to understand what we do not love.

— Anna Jameson

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is impossible. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet, this is exactly what most of us demand.

— Anne Morrow Lindbergh

If we listened to our intellect, we’d never have a love affair. We’d never have a friendship. We’d never go into business, because we’d be too cynical. Well, that’s nonsense. You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.

— Annie Dillard

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

When you hurt people, they begin to love you less. That’s what careless words do. They make people love you a little less.

— Arundhati Roy

It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win.
We must love each other and support each other.
We have nothing to lose but our chains.

— Assata Shakur

Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever.

— Audre Lorde

Once we recognize what it is we are feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, love deeply, can feel joy, then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy.

— Audre Lorde

Each time you love, love as deeply as if it were forever / Only, nothing is eternal.

— Audre Lorde

The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides.

— Audrey Hepburn

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.

— Augustine of Hippo

Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.

— Barbara De Angeli

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.

— Barbara De Angelis

All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.

— Baruch Spinoza

How different things might be if, rather than saying “I think I’m in love,” we were saying “I’ve connected with someone in a way that makes me think I’m on the way to knowing love.” Or if instead of saying “I am in love” we say “I am loving” or “I will love.” Our patterns around romantic love are unlikely to change if we do not change our language.

— bell hooks

The one person who will never leave us, whom we will never lose, is ourself. Learning to love our female selves is where our search for love must begin.

— bell hooks
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