Selflessness Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 80 quotes )
Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a man’s sexual choice is the result and the sum of his fundamental convictions. Tell me what a man finds sexually attractive and I will tell you his entire philosophy on life. Show me the woman he sleeps with and I will tell you his valuation of himself. No matter what corruption he’s taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which he cannot perform for any motive but his own enjoyment–just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity!–an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exaltation, only in confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire.
There is the expression of selfishness and there is the expression of selflessness - but economists or theoreticians never touched that part. They said: 'Go and become a philanthropist.' I said, 'No, I can do that in the business world, create a different kind of business - a business based on selflessness.'
Wow, thank you so much for the compliment!" Patty answered brightly, to end things. At the time, she believed that it was because she was so selflessly team-spirited that direct personal compliments made her so uncomfortable. The autobiographer now thinks that compliments were like a beverage she was unconsciously smart enough to deny herself even one drop of, because her thirst for them was infinite.
Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time --affecting lives unknown to the one who’s generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away. Likewise, each small meanness, each expression of hatred, each act of evil.
What is "grace"? It is God's own life, shared by us. God's life is love. Deus caritas est. By grace we are able to share in the infinitely selfless love of Him Who is such pure actuality that He needs nothing and therefore cannot conceivably exploit anything for selfish ends. Indeed, outside of Him there is nothing, and whatever exists exists by His free gift of its being, so that one of the notions that is absolutely contradictory to the perfection of God is selfishness.
It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
He's paying the price and wondering for what sin and telling himself that he's been too selfish. In what act or thought of his has there ever been a self? What was his aim in life? Greatness--in other people's eyes. Fame, admiration, envy--all that which comes from others. Others dictated his convictions, which he did not hold, but he was satisfied that others believed he held them. Others were his motive power and his prime concern. He didn't want to be great, but to be thought great. He didn't want to build, but to be admired as a builder. He borrowed from others in order to make an impression on others. There's your actual selflessness.
Their lovemaking was different from any Ryan had known, rich with desire for a perfect union, yet without lust, giving without taking, receiving without wanting. Tender, selfless, almost innocent, this was a sweet commemoration of all they had been to each other to this point in time, to this fulcrum of their lives, and it was a solemnization of a commitment to be two in one henceforth, to be as one, always one, one forever.
I do not love; I do not love anybody except myself. That is a rather shocking thing to admit. I have none of the selfless love of my mother. I have none of the plodding, practical love. . . . . I am, to be blunt and concise, in love only with myself, my puny being with its small inadequate breasts and meager, thin talents. I am capable of affection for those who reflect my own world.
And how about the "Daily Odes to the Benefactor"? Who can read them without bowing his head reverently before the selfless labor of this Number of Numbers? Or the terrible blood-red beauty of the "Flowers of Judicial Verdicts"? Or the immortal tragedy, "Lat for Work"? Or the bedside book of "Stanzas on Sexual Hygiene"?
There were no formerly heroic times, and there was no formerly pure generation. There is no one here but us chickens, and so it has always been: A people busy and powerful, knowledgeable, ambivalent, important, fearful, and self-aware; a people who scheme, promote, deceive, and conquer; who pray for their loved ones, and long to flee misery and skip death. It is a weakening and discoloring idea, that rustic people knew God personally once upon a time-- or even knew selflessness or courage or literature-- but that it is too late for us. In fact, the absolute is available to everyone in every age. There never was a more holy age than ours, and never a less.
Her beauty is not just—or even primarily—physical. In her face, I see her wisdom, her compassion, her courage, her eternal glory. This other beauty, this spiritual beauty—which is the deepest truth of her—sustains me in times of fear and despair, as other truths might sustain a priest enduring martyrdom at the hands of a tyrant. I see nothing blasphemous in equating her grace with the mercy of God, for the one is a reflection of the other. The selfless love that we give to others to the point of being willing to sacrifice our lives for them, is all the proof I need that human beings are not mere animals of self-interest; we carry within us a divine spark, and if we chose to recognize it, our lives have dignity, meaning, hope. In her it is spark is bright, a light that heals rather than wounds me.
Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of lightyears and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.
If I – as a beneficiary of that exact formula – will concede that my own life was indeed enriched by that precise familial structure, will the social conservatives please (for once!) concede that this arrangement has always put a disproportionately cumbersome burden on women? Such a system demands that mothers become selfless to the point of near invisibility in order to construct these exemplary encironments for their families. And might those same social conservatives – instead of just praising mothers as “sacred” and “noble” – be willing to someday join a larger conversation about how we might work together as a society to construct a world where healthy children can be raised and healthy families can prosper without women have to scrape bare the walls of their own souls to do so?
It is curious that people tend to regard government as a quasi-divine, selfless, Santa Claus organization. Government was constructed neither for ability nor for the exercise of loving care; government was built for the use of force and for necessarily demagogic appeals for votes. If individuals do not know their own interests in many cases, they are free to turn to private experts for guidance. It is absurd to say that they will be served better by a coercive, demagogic apparatus.
Love Katharine Hepburn. Her selfless love to Spencer, with little or no regard for her own needs, wants or care, bothers me. The book while interesting, was not what i expected, yet, the last chapter was the most disturbing, love knows no bounds, she had unconditional love for Spencer, it is a shame it was not reciprocated. she deserved so much more. but she did it out of love. how can you argue with that? i hope her free spirit is still surrounding all of us.
I have…learned that one cannot demand love and respect or require that the bonds of friendship and appreciation be extended as an unearned right. These blessings must be earned. They come from personal merit. Sincere concern for others, selfless service, and worthy example qualify one for such respect.
He could never forgive her for "cheating" on his father. His words, not hers. A child's word. "Selfish bitch," he'd called her once, he who knew nothing of selfishness or bitchery, no more than he knew of selflessness or whatever the opposite of bitchery was (sophrosyne?), knew only his own colossal ego, too self-centered even to understand why he couldn't simply dismiss her as evil and forget it. Sweet Christ how she hated him! But no. No more than she hated his father. It was past that. Caught in impossibilities, but knowing, at least, why she hated the part of herself she hated and why she could not escape, ever, for all the grinning cow-catchers and whistling boats and twinkling propellers in Christendom. Ah, Christendom! she thought.