Archive | humanitarianism

We need a sense of belonging to one humanity, respecting the rights and views of others.

We need a sense of belonging to one humanity, respecting the rights and views of others. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? To me, this quote is about not being a jerk. On the individual level, this is especially important. Being human often means having to decide what is important. It’s easy to choose […]

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Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. – Seneca What does that mean? This quote is about the human condition, and one of our primary jobs as a human being. While we can be kind to animals, plants and even minerals, the real point of our existence begins by being […]

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It is expressions of affection rather than money and power that attract real friends.

It is expressions of affection rather than money and power that attract real friends. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? People try all different ways to attract friends. The desire to be admired is strong within us all. This is the basis of friendship, the admiration of another. How we go about attaining friends is […]

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My heart is ever at your service.

My heart is ever at your service. – William Shakespeare What does that mean? In the play, the words are spoken by Captain Alcibiades, who first pleads for Timon’s life, then (having been banished from Athens for trying save Timon) later revenges himself on those who exiled him, and conspired against Timon. (Timon of Athens [date uncertain, […]

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Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it.

Absence sharpens love, presence strengthens it. – Thomas Fuller What does that mean? This quote, in my mind, is about how someone who is in love reacts to both absence and pretense of their loved one. This quote helps me define who is, and who is not, truly in love. The quote starts with the […]

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If we can cultivate a concern for others, keeping in mind the oneness of humanity, we can build a more compassionate world.

If we can cultivate a concern for others, keeping in mind the oneness of humanity, we can build a more compassionate world. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote is about how we might build a more compassionate world. It starts with the oneness of humanity. We are all one group, one people, one […]

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Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters.

Life’s like a play: it’s not the length, but the excellence of the acting that matters. – Seneca What does that mean? Most people don’t win awards like a Tony, an Oscar, or a Golden Globe. They play their part, and that’s it. The curtain falls, and it’s over. This quote reminds us that life is […]

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In order to lead a meaningful life, you need to cherish others, pay attention to human values and try to cultivate inner peace.

In order to lead a meaningful life, you need to cherish others, pay attention to human values and try to cultivate inner peace. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? In this quote, the topic is a meaningful life, and how to have one. It states that there are three things to do and work on […]

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Kindness and a good heart are the underlying foundation for success in this life and making progress on the spiritual path.

Kindness and a good heart are the underlying foundation for success in this life and making progress on the spiritual path. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? Kindness is often described as being friendly, generous, sympathetic, humane, and/or tolerant. That sounds like a nice thing to have someone say about you, doesn’t it? Having a good […]

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Altruism is not merely a religious ideal; it is an indispensable requirement for humanity at large.

Altruism is not merely a religious ideal; it is an indispensable requirement for humanity at large. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote reminds us that while altruism is associated with religious orders and organizations, it is an attitude and behavior for all of us. Even those who have no particular religious affiliation or tendencies. Altruism […]

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Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.

Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas. – Marie Curie What does that mean? This is both interesting and sexist sounding at the same time. Another term for being curious about people (and the discussions that accompany the discoveries) is gossiping. While it isn’t specified that she is speaking to other ladies, back in […]

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More important than being loved is to love.

More important than being loved is to love. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? Loving, or the act of giving love away to another, is a very powerful force. Receiving love is also powerful, but it relies on others to act in a loving manner towards you. To me, this quote is all about the power […]

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The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer somebody else up. – Mark Twain What does that mean? This is another misattributed quote. I try to be extra cautious when dealing with quotes attributed to Mark Twain, as he is one of the most often attributed people, even when he didn’t say it. […]

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I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments.

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. – Dwight D. Eisenhower What does that mean? To me, this is a quote only a warrior could make. It is a twitter-friendly version of a longer quote: “I like to believe that people in […]

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The capacity to devote yourself to the welfare of others yields otherwise unobtainable power and potential for good.

The capacity to devote yourself to the welfare of others yields otherwise unobtainable power and potential for good. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote is about one of the most powerful forces on the planet, the human capacity for love. Isn’t that a good definition for why people will put effort into the welfare […]

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