Quotes About Humanity

Humanity is a term which commonly refers to the human species, mankind as a whole, or sets of qualities which are used to define human nature, the human condition, or to refer to any of the academic disciplines known as the humanities which study human culture. Humanity is defined as; compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition: the quality or state of being humane; the quality or state of being human. May these quotes inspire you to be a more humane individual so that you may make the world a better place.

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Quotes About Humanity

Humanity is a tree, and nations are its branches. Events that appear as heavy winds hurl them against each other and cause them to clash. Of course, the resulting harm is felt by the tree. This is the meaning of: “Whatever we do, we do it to ourselves.”– M. Fethullah Gulen

When interacting with others, always regard whatever pleases and displeases yourself as the measure. Desire for others what your own ego desires, and do not forget that whatever conduct displeases you will displease others. If you do this, you will be safe not only from misconduct and bad behavior, but also from hurting others. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Considering that favors received make you feel a liking, affection, and attachment for those who bestowed the favor upon you, you should understand how to make others like you, and feel affection and attachment for you. It is said that “people are the slaves of the favors done to them.” Therefore, doing others a favor and being good to them is a reliable defence against any harm that may come from them. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Maturity and perfection of spirit is being just in your treatment of others, especially with those who have done you an injustice. Answer their evil with good. Do not stop doing good, even to those who have harmed you. Rather, treat them with humanity and nobility, for harming someone is brutish behavior. Returning evil with evil implies a deficiency in character; returning good for evil is nobility. – M. Fethullah Gulen

There is no limit to doing good to others. Those who have dedicated themselves to the good of humanity can be so altruistic that they will even sacrifice their lives for others. However, such altruism is a great virtue only if it originates in sincerity and purity of intention, and if it does not define the “others” by racial preferences. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Our humanity and nobility are directly proportional to our closeness to our friends and our maintenance of these friendships. Talking of nobility and kindness without expressing warmth and intimacy in relationships is mere assertion. Doing good in return only for good received, or sometimes ceasing to do good to others in order to punish them, implies moral imperfection and immaturity. – M. Fethullah Gulen

It is a sign of great generosity and goodness to others if you ignore some of their faults, improprieties, or bad manners, and tolerate their imperfections. Prying into others’ affairs and finding fault is rude and uncivil, and publicizing such affairs is unforgivable. Declaring them to the other’s face is a severe blow to the bonds of unity between people, a blow from which, sadly, it is almost impossible for friendship to recover fully. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Those who regard even the greatest good they have done for others as insignificant, while greatly appreciating even the least favor done to themselves, are perfected ones who have acquired the Divine standards of behavior and found peace in their conscience. Such individuals never remind others of the good they have done for them, and never complain when others appear to be indifferent to them. – M. Fethullah Gulen

People usually complain of time and space, whereas the fault always lies in ignorance. Time and fate are innocent, whereas humanity is ungrateful and ignorant. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Nights are like arenas in which people discover, develop, and prepare for human happiness and serenity. Great ideas and works always developed in the womb’s darkness and were offered for the benefit of humanity. – M. Fethullah Gulen

Quotes About Humanity

People have become educated but have not become human. – Abdul Sattar Edhi

Be a good human being, a warm hearted, affectionate person. That is my fundamental belief. – Dalai Lama

Being human is given. But keeping our humanity is a choice. – Anonymous

Be kind to all creatures. – Buddha

Politeness is the flower of humanity. – Joseph Joubert

You must not lose faith in humanity. – Mahatma Gandhi

Be the reason someone smiles today. – Anonymous

I hope that people will finally come to realize that there is only one ‘race’ – the human race – and that we are all members of it. – Margaret Atwood

Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive. – Dalai Lama

Who are we as human beings if we ignore the suffering of others? – Anonymous

Those who teach the most about humanity, aren’t always humans. – Donald L. Hicks

How many disasters do we need to unite humanity. – Loesje

If you cannot find faith in humanity, be the faith in humanity. – Anonymous

Humanity, take a good look at yourself, inside. You’re a world – everything is hidden in you. – Hildegard of Bingen

I love humanity. – Albert Einstein

We are all cells in the same body of humanity. – Anonymous

Benevolence is the characteristic element of humanity. – Confucius

Let’s not lose hope in humanity, instead live to help others. We can make a difference. – Anonymous

Find the sweetness in your own heart, then you may find the sweetness in every heart. – Rumi

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. – Anonymous

Who so lives for humanity must be content to lose himself. – Octavius Brooks Frothingham

By serving humanity, I automatically serve myself. – Vironika Tugaleva

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. – Martin Luther King

We are all connected. When one arm or foot is poisoned, the whole body becomes infected. – Suzy Kassem

Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future. – Nelson Mandela

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. – Desmond Tutu

In a gentle way you can shake the world. – Mahatma Gandhi

Love humanity? Start with one person. – Gabriel Laub

Let us have but one end in view, the welfare of humanity; and let us put aside all selfishness in consideration of language, nationality, and religion. – John Arnos Comenius

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. – Charles Chaplin

Here I am. I claim my humanity with no fear and no limits. Here I am. – Oprah Winfrey

Humanity’s next state is rising above ourselves for the sake of our common unity. – Anonymous

My work is about helping humanity. – Agnes Denes

Moral courage is the highest expression of humanity. – Ralph Nader

Selfless service alone gives the needed strength and courage to awaken the sleeping humanity in one’s heart. – Sai Baba

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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. – Mahatma Gandhi

The next evolutionary step for humankind is to move from human to kind. – Anonymous

There surely is in human nature an inherent propensity to extract all the good out of all the evil. – Benjamin Haydon

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. – Mother Teresa

It’s human nature to gripe, but I’m going ahead and doing the best I can. – Elvis Presley

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity. – Leo Tolstoy

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi

Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Only a life lived in the service to others is worth living. – Albert Einstein

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed. – Woodrow Wilson

If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent. – Warren Buffett

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. – Muhammad Ali

Let our New Year’s resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word. – Göran Persson

All people have three characters, that which they exhibit, that which they are, and that which they think they are. – Alphonse Karr

Human nature is not obliged to be consistent. – Lucy Maud Montgomery

The average man doesn’t like trouble and danger. – Mark Twain

It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly. – Anatole France

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity: and I’m not sure about the universe. – Albert Einstein

The human race is governed by its imagination. – Napoleon

Man is the only creature who refuses to be what he is. – Albert Camus

You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back. – William D. Tammeus

The problem with people is that they’re only human. – Bill Watterson

The basic rule of human nature is that the powerful people speak slowly and the subservient people quickly – because if they don’t speak fast nobody will listen to them. – Michael Caine

No tendency is quite so strong in human nature as the desire to lay down rules of conduct for other people. – William Howard Taft

Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive. – Margaret Mead

Man will do many things to get himself loved, he will do all things to get himself envied. – Mark Twain

The more one analyzes people, the more all reasons for analysis disappears. Sooner or later one comes to that dreadful universal thing called human nature. – Oscar Wilde

Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody. – Mark Twain

If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will. – Abraham Lincoln

Revenge may be wicked, but it’s nature. – William Makepeace Thackeray

Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. – Socrates

Human nature will only find itself when it fully realizes that to be human it has to cease to be beastly or brutal. – Mahatma Gandhi

The more humanity advances, the more it is degraded. – Gustave Flaubert

Human beings invent just as many ways to sabotage their lives as to improve them. – Mark Goulston

Selfishness is the greatest curse of the human race. – William E. Gladstone

Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. – Oscar Wilde

I recognize that I have the ability to be selfish, but I also recognize that you can’t be happy if you only care about yourself at the expense of other people. – Russell Brand

Human nature must have come much nearer perfection than it is now, or will be in many generations, to exclude from such a control prejudice, selfishness, ambition, and injustice. – Elihu Root

Being selfish is part of human nature but don’t allow it to push those you love away. Remember sharing is caring, everything is a cycle and its best when its mutual. – Frank Matobo

Pray for your health first, then pray for humanity. – Maxime lagace

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. – Thomas Paine

If you judge people, you have no time to love them. – Mother Teresa

Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people. – Roy T. Bennett

Kindness is the best form of humanity. – Doris Lee

Humanity has only scratched the surface of its real potential. – Peace Pilgrim

Humanity should be our race. Love should be our religion. – Unknown

We cannot despair of humanity, since we ourselves are human beings. – Albert Einstein

I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being, first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole. – Malcolm X

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity; more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. – Charlie Chaplin

This is my creed: Happiness is the only good; reason the only torch; justice the only worship, humanity the only religion, and love the only priest. – Robert Green Ingersoll

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

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. – Leo Tolstoy

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains. – Anne Frank

Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind. – Theodore Roosevelt

To think ill of mankind and not wish ill to them, is perhaps the highest wisdom and virtue. – William Hazlitt

No religion is higher than humanity. – Abdul Sattar Edhi

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. – Helen Keller

Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. – Mahatma Gandhi

This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind. – Neil Armstrong

Embrace with tender affection the whole of humanity, especially the poorest, the weakest, the least important. – Pope Francis

The great moral teachers of humanity were in a way artistic geniuses in the art of living. – Albert Einstein

The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet, orbiting around a very average star in the outer suburb of one among a hundred billion galaxies. We are so insignificant that I can’t believe the whole universe exists for our benefit. That would be like saying that you would disappear if I closed my eyes. – Stephen Hawking

If our tears do not lead us to act then we have lost the reason of our humanity, which is compassion. – Dalai Lama

In the midst of economic recovery and global upheaval, disasters like this remind us of the common humanity that we share. – Barack Obama

This is American leadership at its best. We stand with people who fight for their own freedom, and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity. – Barack Obama

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in. – Theodore Roosevelt

The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices. – Jimmy Carter

You want to max out your humanity by using your energy to lift yourself up, your family, and the people around you. – Oprah Winfrey

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. – Martin Luther King Jr

We must all learn to live together as brothers or we will all perish together as fools. Because of our involvement in humanity we must be concerned about every human being. – Martin Luther King Jr

Be certain that you do not die without having done something wonderful for humanity. – Maya Angelou

The world is a stage, but the play is badly cast. – Oscar Wilde

Each person must live their life as a model for others. – Rosa Parks

Think higher, feel deeper. – Elie Wiesel

The only real nation is humanity. – Paul Farmer

The simplest way to be happy is to do good. – Helen Keller

Humanity needs to weep, and this is the time to weep. – Pope Francis

Truth is on the side of the oppressed. – Malcolm X

The perfect normal person is rare in our civilization. – Karen Horney

Comedy is the only hope for humanity. – Roseanne Barr

The moment we stop fighting for each other, that’s the moment that we lose our humanity. – Adrian Hemlsley

The human race has improved everything, but the human race. – Adlai E. Stevenson

It’s all about humanity, humility, and integrity. – Debra Wilson

We are not broken, we are just unfinished. – Dawna Markova

Humanity is the virtue of a woman, generosity that of a man. – Adam Smith

The more I see of man, the more I like dogs. – Madame de Stael

God must love the common man, he made so many of them. – Abraham Lincoln

You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. – Marie Curie

Every step we take on earth brings us to a new world. – Federico Garcia Lorca

My humanity is a constant self-overcoming. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity. – Pema Chodron

Be the reason someone smiles today. – Unknown

The strides of humanity are slow, they can only be counted in centuries. – Georg Buchner

Whoever saves one life, saves the world entire. – Thomas Keneally

All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others. – Desmond Tutu

If you want to awaken all of humanity, awaken all of yourself. – Lao Tzu

When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful. – Malala Yousafzai

We were scared, but our fear was not as strong as our courage. – Malala Yousafzai

At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can. – Frida Kahlo

Progress is the attraction that moves humanity. – Marcus Garvey

We have to do the best we are capable of. This is our sacred human responsibility. – Albert Einstien

One of the biggest lies in the story of humanity is the lie of our imperfection. – Miguel Angel Ruiz

The world is truly beautiful solely in the eyes of a true philosopher. – Kedar Joshi

It is not what a lawyer tells me I may do; but what humanity, reason, and justice tell me I ought to do. – Edmund Burke

We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the world – introspection. We discover that humanity may resemble us very considerably – that the best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbors is to know ourselves. – Walter Lippmann

Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. – Horace Mann

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others. – Rosa Parks

Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. – Louis Pasteur

I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand. – Charles M. Schulz

Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never merely as a means to an end, but always at the same time as an end. – Immanuel Kant

There is nothing on earth divine except humanity. – Walter Savage Landor

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. – Thomas Paine

Humanity is the refuse of spirit. – James Lendall Basford

We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane. – Kurt Vonnegut

I ask you to ensure that humanity is served by wealth, and not ruled by it. – Pope Francis

Dream for a better world and for a better humanity, not for a better car and a bigger house. – Thibaut

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual. – Albert Einstein

If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent. – Warren Buffett

It is only our humanity that can deliver us from the brutality of our achievements. – Henry Rollins

Just be good. I’m good. Not because I think I’ll go to heaven but because when I do something bad, I feel bad. And when I do something good, I feel good. – Ricky Gervais

While we are sitting in meditation, we are simply exploring humanity and all of creation in the form of ourselves. – Pema Chodron

We can become extremely wise and sensitive to all of humanity and the whole universe simply by knowing ourselves, just as we are. – Pema Chodron

Being human is given. But keeping our humanity is a choice. – Unknown

I am not religious. I am a humanist because human beings are more important than dogma an traditions. – Unknown

The universe is my country and the human family is my tribe. – Kahlil Gibran

Our chief usefulness to humanity rests on our combining power with high purpose. Power undirected by high purpose spells calamity, and high purpose by itself is utterly useless if the power to put it into effect is lacking. – Theodore Roosevelt

Wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice, politics without principles. – Mahatma Gandhi

Take care that you don’t treat inhumanity as it treats human beings. – Marcus Aurelius

It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. – Oscar Wilde

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

Love, hope, fear, faith – these make humanity; These are its sign and note and character. – Robert Browning

There is a universal respect and even admiration for those who are humble and simple by nature, and who have absolute confidence in all human beings irrespective of their social status. – Nelson Mandela

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable. – Joseph Addison

Reflecting on his years in prison, Nelson Mandela wrote that there were dark moments that tested his faith in humanity, but he refused to give up. – Barack Obama

Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat. – Ralph Ellison

Only life suffered can transform a symphony from a collection of notes into a message of humanity. – Dimitris Mitropoulos

In abstract love of humanity one almost always only loves oneself. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

I did not bow down to you, I bowed down to all the suffering of humanity. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute. – Thurgood Marshall

Don’t be the reason someone feels insecure. Be the reason someone feels seen, heard and supported. – Cleo Wade

I don’t want to just love my family; I want to love all of humanity. – Alejandro Jodorowsky

One of the most spiritual things you can do is embrace your humanity. Connect with those around you today. Say, “I love you”, “I’m sorry”, “I appreciate you”, “I’m proud of you”…whatever you’re feeling. – Steve Maraboli

I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead. – Kurt Vonnegut

If I seem to boast more than is becoming, my excuse is that I brag for humanity rather than for myself. – Henry David Thoreau

We do not admire the man of timid peace. We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life. – Theodore Roosevelt

We cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself. – Barack Obama

There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest. – Elie Wiesel

When a person doesn’t have gratitude, something is missing in his or her humanity. A person can almost be defined by his or her attitude toward gratitude. – Elie Wiesel

So long as we live among men, let us cherish humanity. – Andre Gide

If there is to be peace in the world, there must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, there must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, there must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be peace between neighbors, there must be peace in the home. If there is to be peace in the home, there must be peace in the heart. – Lao Tzu

Human life has meaning only to that degree and as long as it is lived in the service of humanity. – Wole Soyinka

To treat anyone as if they were less than human, less than a brother or a sister, no matter what they have done, is to contravene the very laws of our humanity. – Desmond Tutu

The belief that we some day shall be able to prevent war is to me one with the belief in the possibility of making humanity really human. – Ellen Key

Humanity’s next state is rising above ourselves for the sake of our common unity. – Unknown

There can be no renewal of our relationship with nature without a renewal of humanity itself. – Pope Francis

Humanity’s true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. – Milan Kundera

Our origins are of the earth. And so there is in us a deeply seated response to the natural universe, which is part of our humanity. – Rachel Carson

If you cannot find faith in humanity, be the faith in humanity. – Unknown

Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. Today I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity – I belong to the earth! – Henry Miller

I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am. – Joseph Baretti

The more I love humanity in general, the less I love man in particular. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Humanity is on the march, earth itself is left behind. – David Ehrenfeld

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule. – H. L. Mencken

We are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. – Martin Luther King Jr

Of course, we are all egoists. Egoism is so much a part of our humanity. – F. Sionil Jose

We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole World. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity. – Desmond Tutu

What can become of him if he is in such bondage to the habit of satisfying the innumerable desires he has created for himself? He is isolated, and what concern has he with the rest of humanity? They have succeeded in accumulating a greater mass of objects, but the joy in the world has grown less. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities… on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but your humanity. – Bill Gates

Only on paper has humanity yet achieved glory, beauty, truth, knowledge, virtue, and abiding love. – George Bernard Shaw

To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. – Nelson Mandela

A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men. – Gloria Steinem

Oppression involves a failure of the imagination: the failure to imagine the full humanity of other human beings. – Margaret Atwood

A dream of a nation where all our gifts and resources are held not for ourselves alone, but as instruments of service for the rest of humanity. – Martin Luther King Jr

Be nice to the whites, they need you to rediscover their humanity. – Desmond Tutu

History is a record of the incessant struggle of humanity against ignorance and oppression. – Helen Keller

All of humanity is searching for truth, justice, and beauty. – Miguel Angel Ruiz

Art is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity. – Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky

Until we invent telepathy, books are our best choice for understanding the rest of humanity. – Christopher Paolini

The fundamental rights of [humanity] are, first: the right of habitation; second, the right to move freely; third, the right to the soil and subsoil, and to the use of it; fourth, the right of freedom of labor and of exchange; fifth, the right to justice; sixth, the right to live within a natural national organization; and seventh, the right to education. – Albert Schweitzer

To the real artist in humanity, what are called bad manners are often the most picturesque and significant of all. – Walt Whitman

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. – Marie Curie

Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made. – Immanuel Kant

Every time an artist dies, part of the vision of mankind passes with him. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless. – Honore de Balzac

Humanity can live without science, it can live without bread, but it cannot live without beauty. Without beauty, there would be nothing left to do in this life. Here the secret lies. Here lies the entire story. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. – Unknown

Science is a beautiful gift to humanity; we should not distort it. – A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

If humanity doesn’t land on Mars in my lifetime, I would be very disappointed. – Elon Musk

Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons. – R. Buckminster Fuller

Humanity’s greatest advances are not in its discoveries but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity. – Bill Gates 

I have an idealistic view of science as a liberalising and progressive force for humanity. – Paul Nurse

Science is but a perversion of itself unless it has as its ultimate goal the betterment of humanity. – Nikola Tesla

On personal integrity hangs humanity’s fate. – R. Buckminster Fuller

I will never apologize for saying that the future of humanity and the future of the world is going to be defined by what we have in common as opposed to those things that separate us and ultimately lead us into conflict. – Barack Obama

The salvation of mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

The problems of all of humanity can only be solved by all of humanity. – Friedrich Durrenmatt

Humanity Quotes

  • Only by being a man or woman for others does one become fully human.
    • Pedro Arrupe, ‘Men for Others’, 1973, Valencia, Spain
  • To suffer with the other and for others; to suffer for the sake of truth and justice; to suffer out of love and in order to become a person who truly loves—these are fundamental elements of humanity, and to abandon them would destroy man himself.
    • Pope Benedict XVI, in Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi (30 November 2007), Ch. 39.
  • The definition of humanity typically extols our cultural brilliance as manifest through millennia of mythology, religion, philosophy, art, music, literature, dance, architecture, and science. The praise of humanity’s multifaceted achievements is well deserved, but this stunning radiance also has a macabre and dark side that is an inseparable part of human history and nature. This underbelly of “civilization” is barbarism–the unbroken timeline involving hierarchy, domination, colonization, violence, war, genocide, extinctions, and environmental ruination.
    • Steven Best, The Politics of Total Liberation: Revolution for the 21st Century (2014), pp. 131-132. ISBN 978-1349500864
  • Love, hope, fear, faith — these make humanity;
    These are its sign and note and character.

    • Robert Browning, Paracelsus, scene 3.
  • A poor Irish Widow, her husband having died in one of the Lanes of Edinburgh, went forth with her three children, bare of all resource, to solicit help from the Charitable Establishments of that City. At this Charitable Establishment and then at that she was refused; referred from one to the other, helped by none;— till she had exhausted them all; till her strength and heart failed her: she sank down in typhus-fever; died, and infected her Lane with fever, so that ‘seventeen other persons’ died of fever there in consequence. The humane Physician asks thereupon, as with a heart too full for speaking, Would it not have been economy to help this poor Widow? She took typhus-fever, and killed seventeen of you!—Very curious. The forlorn Irish Widow applies to her fellow-creatures, as if saying, “Behold I am sinking, bare of help: ye must help me! I am your sister, bone of your bone; one God made us: ye must help me!” They answer, “No; impossible: thou art no sister of ours.” But she proves her sisterhood; her typhus-fever kills them: they actually were her brothers, though denying it! Had man ever to go lower for a proof?

    For, as indeed was very natural in such case, all government of the Poor by the Rich has long ago been given over to Supply-and-demand, Laissez-faire and such like, and universally declared to be ‘impossible.’ “You are no sister of ours; what shadow of proof is there? Here are our parchments, our padlocks, proving indisputably our money-safes to be ours, and you to have no business with them. Depart! It is impossible!”

    • Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present (1843)
  • An inadvertent step may crush the snail
    That crawls at evening in the public path.
    But he that has humanity, forewarned,
    Will turn aside and let the reptile live.

    • William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book VI.
  • 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.
    • Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World (1954), by Louis Fischer, p. 177
  • In all respects, we are one humanity, one human family. Limitations arise from political beliefs and world leaders who hold thinking to time, place and culture, thereby creating differences and separateness. The birthright of all mankind is to love and follow God. Limitations arise from erroneous human beliefs.
    • Haidakhan Babaji, The Teachings of Babaji, 30 October 1982.
  • One can follow any religion, one can follow any practice or path, but one must be humane.
    • Haidakhan Babaji, The Teachings of Babaji, 22 January 1983.
  • The world now is in a state of turmoil. It is suffering from three kinds of pain – physical, mental, spiritual – and there is only one way of being cured from these. We have to root out inhumanity and replace it with humanity. (…) There are people in this world who, when they see someone else’s house burning, are happy. There are people who want to live in comfort at the expense of the labor of others. There is only one God, who created all men in His image. This is why we have to re-establish humanity.
    • Haidakhan Babaji, The Teachings of Babaji, 23 September 1983.
  • The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. They want to turn the world into a sickroom. And once they get humanity strapped to the operating table, they operate on it with an ax.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955), Section 124.
  • It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one’s neighbor. … Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are “vowed” to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. In a Communist state love of neighbor may be classed as counter-revolutionary.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 11: Brotherhood.
  • The impulse of power is to turn every variable into a constant, and give to commands the inexorableness and relentlessness of laws of nature. Hence absolute power corrupts even when exercised for humane purposes. The benevolent despot who sees himself as a shepherd of the people still demands from others the submissiveness of sheep. The taint inherent in absolute power is not its inhumanity but its anti-humanity.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 15 : The Unnaturalness Of Human Nature.
  • A man discovers what he is actually worth in this world when he faces society as a man, without money, name, or powerful connections, stripped of all but his native potentialities. He soon finds that nothing has less weight than his human qualities. They are prized so low that the market does not even list them. Strict science, which acknowledges man only as a biological concept, reflects man’s lot in the actual world; in himself, man is nothing more than a member of a species. In the eyes of the world, the quality of humanity confers no title to existence, nay, not even a right of sojourn. Such title must be certified by special social circumstances stipulated in documents to be presented on demand.
    • Max Horkheimer, “The latest attack on metaphysics,” Critical Theory: Selected Essays (1982), p. 137
  • I have written for all, with a profound love for my own country, but without being engrossed by France more than by any other nation. In proportion as I advance in life, I grow more simple, and I become more and more patriotic for humanity.
    • Victor Hugo, in a letter To M. Daelli, publisher of the Italian translation of Les Misérables (18 October 1862).
  • The … sentiment of the equality before God of all his creatures … tends to nullify man’s usual acquisitiveness. Those who have it spurn dignities and honors, privileges and advantages, preferring … to grovel on the common level before the face of God. It is not exactly the sentiment of humility, though it comes so close to it in practice. It is humanity, rather, refusing to enjoy anything that others do not share.
    • William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), p. 324
  • Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
    • Immanuel Kant, Idea for a General History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784), Proposition 6.
  • Man isn’t a noble savage, he’s an ignoble savage. He is irrational, brutal, weak, silly, unable to be objective about anything where his own interests are involved—that about sums it up. I’m interested in the brutal and violent nature of man because it’s a true picture of him. And any attempt to create social institutions on a false view of the nature of man is probably doomed to failure.
    • Stanley Kubrick, The New York Times Film Review, 30th January 1972
  • To us who regard [Jesus]as the unique revelation of God, the unfolding of the divine life under human forms, he is the ultimate standard of moral and spiritual life, the perfect expression of the will of God for humanity, the categorical imperative with a human heart. But very many who do not hold this belief in a formulated way or who feel compelled to deny it, including an increasing portion of our Jewish fellow-citizens, will still consent that in Jesus our race has reached one of its highest points, if not its crowning summit thus far, so that Jesus Christ is a prophecy of the future glory of humanity, the type of Man as he is to be. Christianizing means humanizing in the highest sense.
    • Walter Rauschenbusch, Christianizing the Social Order (1912), p. 125
  • Mimzy returned to her own time, as if time had stopped. It was what the scientist had hoped for — to find a soul in the past not contaminated by the pollutants that filled our bodies and minds. Our precious quality of humanity had been turned off, but in Emma’s tears was the instruction for an awakening; and it spread like wildflowers. People shed their protective suits. And over time humanity blossomed again. Our world was saved by a child, very much like you. Emma was our mother, the mother of us all.
    • “Lena”, in The Last Mimzy (2007), loosely adapted from “Mimsy Were the Borogoves” (1943) by Lewis Padgett, by screenplay authors, Bruce Joel Rubin, Toby Emmerich, James V. Hart, and Carol Skilken.
  • Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he is Superman. His alter ego Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He’s weak. He’s unsure of himself. He’s a coward. Clark Kent is Superman’s critique on the whole human race.
    • Quentin Tarantino, in lines written for “Bill”, in Kill Bill: Volume 2 (2004)
  • There are no “human” oppressors. Oppressors have lost their humanity.
    • Bernie Sanders, “Man – and Woman” in Vermont Freeman (Mid-February 1972)
  • How could we be were it not for this planet that provided our very shape? Two conditions—gravity and livable temperature range between freezing and boiling—have given us fluids and flesh. The trees we climb and the ground we walk on have given us five fingers and toes. The “place”… gave us far-seeing eyes, the streams and breezes gave us versatile tongues and whorly ears. The land gave us a stride, and the lake a dive. The amazement gave us our kind of mind.
    • Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild (1990)
  • When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole?
    • Nikola Tesla The Problem of Increasing Energy, p. 6, ISBN 1564598446
  • For the interesting and inspiring thing about America, gentlemen, is that she asks nothing for herself except what she has a right to ask for humanity itself.
    • Woodrow Wilson, speech at the luncheon of the Mayor of New York (17 May 1915).
  • I have learned
    To look on nature, not as in the hour
    Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
    The still, sad music of humanity,
    Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
    To chasten and subdue.
     And I have felt
    A presence that disturbs me with the joy
    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
    Of something far more deeply interfused,
    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
    And the round ocean and the living air,
    And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
    A motion and a spirit, that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things.

    • William Wordsworth, in Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey (1798).
  • Social science and humanities … have a mutual contempt for one another, the former looking down on the latter as unscientific, the latter regarding the former as philistine. … The difference comes down to the fact that social science really wants to be predictive, meaning that man is predictable, while the humanities say that he is not.
    • Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: 1988), p. 357
  • What do you believe was on the mind of the ancient Romans that they called the arts of speaking humanity? They judged that, indisputably, by the study of these disciplines not only was the tongue refined, but also the wildness and barbarity of people’s minds was amended.
    • Philip Melanchthon, Praise of Eloquence (1523), p. 66
  • If the passion for truthfulness is merely controlled and stilled without being satisfied, it will kill the activities it is supposed to support. This may be one of the reasons why, at the present time, the study of the humanities runs a risk of sliding from professional seriousness, through professionalization, to a finally disenchanted careerism.
    • Bernard Williams, Truth and Truthfulness (2002)

Human Nature Quotes

Human nature

Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally, independently of the influence of culture.

 
  • All men by nature desire to know; the proof of this is the pleasure caused by sensations, for even apart from the usefulness, we enjoy them for themselves, and visual sensations more than the others.
    • Aristotle, Metaphysics 980b22, in Complete Works, vol. 2, p. 1552
  • Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.
    • Jane Austen (1841) Emma: A Novel. p. 159
  • Everyone who achieves strives for totality, and the value of his achievement lies in that totality—that is, in the fact that the whole, undivided nature of a human being should be expressed in his achievement. But when determined by our society, as we see it today, achievement does not express a totality; it is completely fragmented and derivative. It is not uncommon for the community to be the site where a joint and covert struggle is waged against higher ambitions and more personal goals. … The socially relevant achievement of the average person serves in the vast majority of cases to repress the original and nonderivative, inner aspirations of the human being.
    • Walter Benjamin, “The Life of Students” (1915), as translated by R. Livingstone, in Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings – vol. 1: 1913-1926, ed. Michael William Jennings, Harvard University Press, 1996, p. 39
  • In fact the core of Darwin’s thinking, and his revolutionary contribution to human history, was to put humans on the same level as every other species, and to say that the fundamental evolutionary process was exactly the same for all species. Yet however clear and simple this thought may have been, humans have never quite wanted to accept it.
    • Rod Caird, Ape Man ISBN 978-0-85766-478-5 Chapter 7, “Still Evolving” (p. 165)
  • Different aspects of our biology and our behavior evolved at different times. There is no mystical moment at which we became human. As Robert Foley says: “We accumulated during our evolution a bundle of characteristics which we now think of as being human.”
    • Rod Caird, Ape Man ISBN 978-0-85766-478-5 Chapter 7, “Still Evolving” (p. 168)
  • One man talks continually about the particular actions of this or another neighbor; whilst another looks beyond the acts to the inward principle from which they spring, and gathers from them larger views of human nature. In a word, one man sees all things apart and in fragments, whilst another strives to discover the harmony, connection, unity of all. One of the great evils of society is, that men, occupied perpetually with petty details, want general truths, want broad and fixed principles.
    • William Ellery Channing, “Self-Culture”
  • Before all other things, man is distinguished by his pursuit and investigation of Truth. And hence, when free from needful business and cares, we delight to see, to hear, and to communicate, and consider a knowledge of many admirable and abstruse things necessary to the good conduct and happiness of our lives: whence it is clear that whatsoever is True, simple, and direct, the same is most congenial to our nature as men. Closely allied with this earnest longing to see and know the truth, is a kind of dignified and princely sentiment which forbids a mind, naturally well constituted, to submit its faculties to any but those who announce it in precept or in doctrine, or to yield obedience to any orders but such as are at once just, lawful, and founded on utility. From this source spring greatness of mind and contempt of worldly advantages and troubles.
    • Cicero, De Officiis, Book 1, § 13
  • It is essential to every inquiry about duty that we keep before our eyes how far superior man is by nature to cattle and other beasts: they have no thought except for sensual pleasure and this they are impelled by every instinct to seek; but man’s mind is nurtured by study and meditation.
    • Cicero, De Officiis, Book 1, § 105
  • Nature outweighing art begets roughness; art outweighing nature begets pedantry. Art and nature well blent make a gentleman.
    • Confucius, Analects, 6.16
  • He lit a lamp in broad daylight and said, as he went about, “I am looking for a human.”
    • Diogenes of Sinope, as reported by Diogenes Laërtius, vi. 41.
      • Also translated as “I am looking for an honest man.”
  • The nonchalance of boys who are sure of a dinner and would disdain as much as a lord to do or say aught to conciliate one is the healthy attitude of human nature.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Self-Reliance,” Essays: First Series (1883), p. 50
  • Thus we discover that this blind and impersonal process produced humans not in a lightning flash, not in a sudden instant of creation, but as the result of accumulation. The origin of humans is not something that can be pinpointed at five million years, or one million years, or 100,000 years in the past, but, rather, occurs continuously over time. Our origin is the whole pattern of evolution, although there are key events that we must discover and identify. The things that make us human are acquired as a complex mosaic—we became upright four million years ago; we began to make tools two million years ago; we began to live all over the earth less than one million years ago; and possibly we only acquired language in the last 100,000 years or so.
    Each of these factors is an essential part of the process of becoming human. What makes human evolution such an endlessly fascinating story is trying to visualize the stages, imagining what sort of a creature could walk upright but not talk, make tools but not use fire, survive the rigors of the Ice Age but know nothing of agriculture and a settled way of life.

    • Robert Foley, Introduction, in Rod Caird, Ape Man ISBN 978-0-85766-478-5 (p. 12)
  • Il est dans la nature humaine de penser sagement et d’agir d’une façon absurde.
    • It is human nature to think wisely and to act in an absurd fashion.
      • Anatole France Le livre de mon ami (1885): Le livre de Pierre, part I, ch. II: La dame en blanc
  • History often reproduces without reference to nationality some particular human type or class which becomes active and predominant for a time, and fades away when its task is finished. It is, however, not utterly lost, for the germ of it lies dormant yet ready to re-appear when the exigencies of the moment recall it. The reserve forces of human nature are inexhaustible and inextinguishable.
    • Gale and Polden, A Handbook of the Boer War, p. 152 (1910)
  • Human nature is intractable stuff, hard jagged stuff, the kind of stuff that dreams are wrecked on.
    • Elizabeth Goudge, The White Witch (1958), Part I, Chapter XII.2
    • Goudge alludes to the well-known line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Act 4, scene 1: “We are such stuff as dreams are made on.”
  • The fate of the Jewish people is the fate of Macbeth who stepped out of nature itself, clung to alien beings, and so in their service had to trample and slay everything holy in human nature.
    • Hegel, The Spirit of Christianity and its Fate (1799)
  • There is a startling similarity between Bacon’s prescription for mastering nature—“Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed”—and Loyola’s formula for manipulating men—“Follow the other man’s course to your own goal.”
    • Eric Hoffer, Between the Devil and the Dragon (New York: 1951), p. 13
  • In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual. … Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.
    • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (1958), Chapter 3, p. 21
  • Human nature, as manifested in tribalism and nationalism, provides the momentum of the machinery of human evolution.
    • Arthur Keith, (1946) Essays on Human Evolution. p. 68
  • Someone who thinks well of himself is said to have a healthy self-concept and is envied. Someone who thinks well of his country is called a patriot and is applauded. But someone who thinks well of his species is regarded as hopelessly naïve and is dismissed.
    • Alfie Kohn, The Brighter Side of Human Nature: Altruism and Empathy in Everyday Life, 1990.
  • Human action can be modified to some extent, but human nature cannot be changed.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Cooper Union Address (27 February 1860), New York
  • Human nature is not a machine to be built after a model, and set to do exactly the work prescribed for it, but a tree, which requires to grow and develop itself on all sides, according to the tendency of the inward forces which make it a living thing.
    • John Stuart Mill, On Liberty (Henry Holt, New York: 1895), Chapter 3, pp. 106-107
  • Human nature is not of itself vicious.
    • Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man: 1779 – 1792, p. 149 (2007)
  • Nature … has born and reared all men alike, and created them genuine brothers, not in mere name, but in very reality, though this kinship has been put to confusion by the triumph of malignant covetousness, which has wrought estrangement instead of affinity and enmity instead of friendship.
    • Philo, Every Good Man is Free, 79
  • The needs of man, if life is to survive, are usually said to be four — air, water, food, and in the severe climates, protection. But it is becoming clear today that the human organism has another absolute necessity… This fifth need is the need for novelty — the need, throughout our waking life, for continuous variety in the external stimulation of our eyes, ears, sense organs, and all our nervous network.
    • John R. Platt, (1959) “The Fifth Need of Man,” in: Horizon 1 (July 1959), p. 109.
  • Humane nature I always thought the most useful object of humane reason, and to make the consideration of it pleasant and entertaining, I always thought the best employment of humane wit: other parts of philosophy may perhaps make us wiser, but this not only answers to that end, but makes us better too. Hence it was that the Oracle pronounced Socrates the wisest of all men living, because he judiciously made choice of human nature for the object of his thoughts; an enquiry into which as much exceeds all other learning, as it is of more consequence to adjust the true nature and measures of right and wrong, than to settle the distance of the planets, and compute the times of their circumvolutions.
    • Alexander Pope, “On Reason and Passion,” Prose works of Alexander Pope (1936), vol. 1 p. 44
  • Therapeutic re-education … teaches the patient-student how to live with the contradictions that combine to make him into a unique personality; this is does in contrast to the older moral pedagogies, which tried to re-order the contradictions into a hierarchy of superior and inferior, good and evil. … What hope there is derives from Freud’s assumption that human nature is not so much a hierarchy of high-low, and good-bad, as his predecessors believed, but rather a jostling democracy of contending predispositions, deposited in every nature in roughly equal intensities. … Psychoanalysis if full of such mad logic; it is convincing only if the student of his own life accepts Freud’s egalitarian revision of the traditional idea of a hierarchical human nature.
    • Philip Rieff, The Triumph of the Therapeutic (1966), chapter 2
  • Human nature is governed by general self-interest and affected by genetic predisposition, which implies that there are likely to be limits to our moral sensitivities.
    • Nayef Al-Rodhan (2008) “emotional amoral egoism:” A Neurophilosophical Theory of Human Nature and its Universal Security Implications. Berlin: LIT, p. 15
  • Natural desires are limited; but those which spring from false opinion can have no stopping-point. The false has no limits. When you are travelling on a road, there must be an end; but when astray, your wanderings are limitless. Recall your steps, therefore, from idle things, and when you would know whether that which you seek is based upon a natural or upon a misleading desire, consider whether it can stop at any definite point. If you find, after having travelled far, that there is a more distant goal always in view, you may be sure that this condition is contrary to nature.
    • Seneca, Moral Letters, R. Gummere, trans. (1917)
  • Once the increase of empirical knowledge, and more exact modes of thought, made sharper divisions between the sciences inevitable, and once the increasingly complex machinery of the state necessitated a more rigorous separation of ranks and occupations, then the inner unity of human nature was severed too.
    • Friedrich Schiller, The Aesthetic Education of Man, Sixth Letter
  • Human nature is the same now as when Adam hid from the presence of God; the consciousness of wrong makes us unwilling to meet those whom we have offended.
    • Matthew Simpson, (1885) Sermons. p. 202
  • It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.
    • Tacitus as cited in: William Shepard Walsh (1909) Handy-book of Literary Curiosities. p. 392
  • You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around and why his parents will always wave back.
    • William D. Tammeus, Attributed in Reader’s Digest Quotable Quotes (1997), p. 58
  • We’re just like other people: We love to sing, we love to dance, we admire beautiful women. We are human, and sometimes very human.
    • Professor Siletsky in To Be or Not to Be (1942)
  • Ancestral humans behaved like Bonobos. Later, when we developed the family system, the use of sex for this sort of purpose became more limited, mainly occurring within families. A lot of the things we see, like pedophilia and homosexuality, may be leftovers that some now consider unacceptable in our particular society.
    • Frans de Waal ethologist at the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center at Emory University Discover (1992)
  • God consecrates us with His Spirit; whom He adopts, He anoints; whom He makes sons, He makes saints; He doth not only give them a new name, but a new nature. God turns the wolf into a lamb; He makes the heart humble and gracious; He works such a change as if another soul did dwell in the same body.
    • Thomas Watson, as cited in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 159
  • Human nature is evil; its goodness derives from conscious activity. Now it is human nature to be born with a fondness for profit. Indulging this leads to contention and strife, and the sense of modesty and yielding with which one was born disappears. One is born with feelings of envy and hate, and, by indulging these, one is led into banditry and theft, so that the sense of loyalty and good faith with which he was born disappears. One is born with the desires of the ears and eyes and with a fondness for beautiful sights and sounds, and, by indulging these, one is led to licentiousness and chaos, so that the sense of ritual, rightness, refinement, and principle with which one was born is lost. Hence, following human nature and indulging human emotions will inevitably lead to contention and strife, causing one to rebel against one’s proper duty, reduce principle to chaos, and revert to violence. Therefore one must be transformed by the example of a teacher and guided by the way of ritual and rightness before one will attain modesty and yielding, accord with refinement and ritual, and return to order.
    • Xun Zi, “Human Nature is Evil,” Sources of Chinese Tradition (1999), vol. 1, pp. 179-180

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