Human Condition Quotes

Quotes tagged as "human-condition" Showing 1-30 of 356
William Shakespeare
“All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.”
William Shakespeare, As You Like It

O. Henry
“Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.”
O. Henry, The Gift of the Magi

David Eagleman
“There are three deaths. The first is when the body ceases to function. The second is when the body is consigned to the grave. The third is that moment, sometime in the future, when your name is spoken for the last time.”
David M. Eagleman, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives

Noam Chomsky
“It is quite possible--overwhelmingly probable, one might guess--that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology”
Noam Chomsky

José Saramago
“Whether we like it or not, the one justification for the existence of all religions is death, they need death as much as we need bread to eat.”
José Saramago, Death with Interruptions

Karl Marx
“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”
Karl Marx, A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy

Oliver Sacks
“If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story--his real, inmost story?'--for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us--through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives--we are each of us unique.”
Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales

Tony Kushner
“Harper: In your experience of the world. How do people change?

Mormon Mother: Well it has something to do with God so it's not very nice.

God splits the skin with a jagged thumbnail from throat to belly and then plunges a huge filthy hand in, he grabs hold of your bloody tubes and they slip to evade his grasp but he squeezes hard, he insists, he pulls and pulls till all your innards are yanked out and the pain! We can't even talk about that. And then he stuffs them back, dirty, tangled and torn. It's up to you to do the stitching.

Harper: And then up you get. And walk around.

Mormon Mother: Just mangled guts pretending.

Harper: That's how people change.”
Tony Kushner, Angels in America

Ernest Becker
“We are gods with anuses.”
Ernest Becker, The Denial of Death

Taylor Rhodes
“blessed be
she
who is
both
furious
and
magnificent”
Taylor Rhodes, calloused: a field journal

Aldous Huxley
“One third, more or less, of all the sorrow that the person I think I am must endure is unavoidable. It is the sorrow inherent in the human condition, the price we must pay for being sentient and self-conscious organisms, aspirants to liberation, but subject to the laws of nature and under orders to keep on marching, through irreversible time, through a world wholly indifferent to our well-being, toward decrepitude and the certainty of death. The remaining two thirds of all sorrow is homemade and, so far as the universe is concerned, unnecessary.”
Aldous Huxley, Island

Milan Kundera
“The longing for Paradise is man's longing not to be man.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Franz Kafka
“But I’m not guilty,” said K. “there’s been a mistake. How is it even possible for someone to be guilty? We’re all human beings here, one like the other.” “That is true” said the priest “but that is how the guilty speak”
Franz Kafka, The Trial

Stephen R. Covey
“Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.”
Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change

Margaret Atwood
“Ordinary, said Aunt Lydia, is what you are used to. This may not seem ordinary to you now, but after a time it will. It will become ordinary.”
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale

José Ortega y Gasset
“Living is a constant process of deciding what we are going to do.

Jose Ortega y Gasset

Steve Toltz
“People carry their secrets in hidden places, not on their faces. They carry suffering on their faces. Also bitterness if there’s room.”
Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

Robert Wright
“If two people stare at each other for more than a few seconds, it means they are about to either make love or fight. Something similar might be said about human societies. If two nearby societies are in contact for any length of time, they will either trade or fight. The first is non-zero-sum social integration, and the second ultimately brings it.”
Robert Wright

“If our thoughts are slumping down into a muddling pie of oblivion, we must empower our minds to go beyond vain details or useless conventions. Scanning the reach on the horizon and challenging our imagination can allow us to recognize the essentials of our human condition and achieve harmony in our lives.
("Dirty bike)”
Erik Pevernagie

Toni Morrison
“How exquisitely human was the wish for permanent happiness, and how thin human imagination became trying to achieve it.”
Toni Morrison, Paradise

Steve Toltz
“[I'll teach you] how not to leave the windows of your heart open when it looks like rain and how everyone has a stump where something necessary was amputated. ”
Steve Toltz, A Fraction of the Whole

Jodi Picoult
“There is a reason the word belonging has a synonym for want at its center; it is the human condition.”
Jodi Picoult, Vanishing Acts

“Pick a leader who will keep jobs in your country by offering companies incentives to hire only within their borders, not one who allows corporations to outsource jobs for cheaper labor when there is a national employment crisis. Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance. Stability, not fear and terror. Peace, not chaos. Love, not hate. Convergence, not segregation. Tolerance, not discrimination. Fairness, not hypocrisy. Substance, not superficiality. Character, not immaturity. Transparency, not secrecy. Justice, not lawlessness. Environmental improvement and preservation, not destruction. Truth, not lies.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Jim Thompson
“I looked at her, with her hair spilled out on the pillows and the warmth of her body warming mine. And I thought, god-dang, if this ain't a heck of a way to be in bed with a pretty woman. The two of you arguing about murder, and threatening each other, when you're supposed to be in love and you could be doing something pretty nice. And then I thought, well, maybe it ain't so strange after all. Maybe it's like this with most people, everyone doing pretty much the same thing except in a different way. And all the time they're holding heaven in their hands.”
Jim Thompson, Pop. 1280

Karen Armstrong
“We are meaning-seeking creatures. Dogs, as far as we know, do not agonise about the canine condition, worry about the plight of dogs in other parts of the world, or try to see their lives from a different perspective. But human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that, against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value”
Karen Armstrong, A Short History of Myth

Nichita Stănescu
“Oamenii sunt păsări nemaiîntâlnite,
cu aripi crescute înlăuntru,
care bat plutind, planând,
într-un aer mai curat - care e gândul!”
Nichita Stănescu, O viziune a sentimentelor

“Pick a leader who will not only bail out banks and airlines, but also families from losing their homes -- or jobs due to their companies moving to other countries. Pick a leader who will fund schools, not limit spending on education and allow libraries to close. Pick a leader who chooses diplomacy over war. An honest broker in foreign relations. A leader with integrity, one who says what they mean, keeps their word and does not lie to their people. Pick a leader who is strong and confident, yet humble. Intelligent, but not sly. A leader who encourages diversity, not racism. One who understands the needs of the farmer, the teacher, the doctor, and the environmentalist -- not only the banker, the oil tycoon, the weapons developer, or the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Herman Melville
“To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain.”
Herman Melville, Bartleby

Ali Smith
“Cause nobody's the slightest idea who we are, or who we were, not even we ourselves
- except, that is, in the glimmer of a moment of fair business between strangers, or the nod of knowing and agreement between friends.
Other than these, we go out anonymous into the insect air and all we are is the dust of colour, brief engineerings of wings towards a glint of light on a blade of grass or a leaf in a summer dark.”
Ali Smith, How to Be Both

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