Self-Sacrifice Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 47 quotes )
The life of the cenobite is a human problem. When we speak of convents, those seats of error but innocence, of mistaken views but good intentions, of ignorance but devotion, of torment but martyrdom, we must nearly always say yes or no...The monastery is a renunciation. Self-sacrifice, even when misdirected, is still self-sacrifice. To assume as duty a strict error has its peculiar grandeur.
For centuries, the battle of morality was fought between those who claimed that your life belongs to God and those who claimed that it belongs to your neighbors - between those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of ghosts in heaven and those who preached that the good is self-sacrifice for the sake of incompetents on earth. And no one came to say that your life belongs to you and that the good is to live it.
It is these undeniable qualities of human love and compassion and self-sacrifice that give me hope for the future. We are, indeed, often cruel and evil. Nobody can deny this. We gang up on each one another, we torture each other, with words as well as deeds, we fight, we kill. But we are also capable of the most noble, generous, and heroic behavior.
Rock Creek is sacred and holy ground. How tremendous their heroism in the face of odds that are almost impossible to understand. . . in terms of self-sacrifice, in terms of courage, in terms of faith, in terms of facing up to adversity, there is no greater example in the history of this nation. . . We have a great inheritance. . . a tremendous responsibility to live up to it. God bless us to be faithful, to be true to that which meant so much to those who died here. . .
Money is the barometer of a society’s virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. Money is so noble a medium that does not compete with guns and it does not make terms with brutality. It will not permit a country to survive as half-property, half-loot
The willingness to undertake such action cannot be based on certainties, but on those possibilities glimpsed in a reading of history different from the customary painful recounting of human cruelties. In such a reading we can find not only war but resistance to war, not only injustice but rebellion against injustice, not only selfishness but self-sacrifice, not only silence in the fact of tyranny but defiance, not only callousness but compassion. Human beings show a broad spectrum of qualities, but it is the worst of these that are usually emphasized, and the result, too often, is to dishearten us, diminish our spirit. And yet, historically, that spirit refuses to surrender.
All the stories and descriptions of that time without exception peak only of the patriotism, self-sacrifice, despair, grief, and heroism of the Russians. But in reality it was not like that...The majority of the people paid no attention to the general course of events but were influenced only by their immediate personal interests.
I only wanted to suggest to you that self-sacrifice is a passion so overwhelming that beside it even lust and hunger are trifling. It whirls its victim to destruction in the highest affirmation of his personality. No wine is so intoxicating, no love so shattering, no vice so compelling. When he sacrifices himself, man for a moment is greater than God, for how can God, infinite and omnipotent, sacrifice himself? At best he can only sacrifice his only begotten son.
Light was the symbol I tried to give them...The Cross was the symbol they adopted. The pain of self-sacrifice was obvious to them. The subjective reward--incomprehensible. Thus they changed it all. I told them of many mansions. They chose this mansion or that--scoured each other off the earth, to set one heaven in place of the heaven of those they defeated. Holy wars! Is such a thing conceivable to God as a holy war? Alas. The words--the images--the effort is still uncomprehended. I said Light. I said truth. I said Freedom. I meant enlightenment. Yet nearly every church that uses my name is a wall against light and a rampart against enlightenment, using fear, not love, to chain the generations in terror and pain and ignorance . . . And now--this is called civilization, and in my name, also!
[Hitler] has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security, and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. Hitler, because in his own joyless mind he feels it with exceptional strength, knows that human beings don’t only want comfort, safety, short working-hours, hygiene, birth-control and, in general, common sense; they also, at least intermittently, want struggle and self-sacrifice, not to mention drums, flag and loyalty-parades ... Whereas Socialism, and even capitalism in a grudging way, have said to people “I offer you a good time,” Hitler has said to them “I offer you struggle, danger and death,” and as a result a whole nation flings itself at his feet
The Party denied the free will of the individual - and at the sametime it exacted his willing self-sacrifice. It denied his capacity tochoose between two alternatives - and at the same time it demanded that heshould constantly choose the right one. It denied his power to distinguishgood and evil - and at the same time spoke pathetically of guilt andtreachery. The individual stood under the sign of economic fatality, awheel in a clockwork which had been wound up for all eternity and couldnot be stopped or influenced - and the Party demanded that the wheelshould revolt against the clockwork and change its course. There wassomewhere an error in the calculation; the equation did not work out.
A wish for the irrational is not to be achieved, whether the sacrificial victims are willing or not. But men will not cease to desire the impossible and will not lose their longing to destroy--so long as self-destruction and self-sacrifice are preached to them as the practical means of achieving happiness of the recipients.
Without shedding of blood there is no anything… Everything, it seems to me, has to be purchased by self-sacrifice. Our race has marked every step of its painful ascent with blood. And now torrents of it must flow again… I don’t think the war has been sent as a punishment for sin. I think it is the price humanity must pay for some blessing - some advance great enough to be worth the price which we may not live to see but which our children’s children will inherit.
When you are in love, it means that the person you love is of great personal, selfish importance to you and to your life. If you were selfless, it would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person's need of you. I don't have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person.