Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith." - Russell Victor DeLong, possibly Bertrand Russell V. Delong

"Empathy is the foundation for a developed moral character. Without it, we can’t feel how others respond to our actions, or we may not care. With it, we are able to sense vicariously what others feel when we connect with them and in so doing build lasting emotional bonds." - Daniel Amen

"Empathy is not merely the basic principle of artistic creation. It is also the only path by which one can reach the truth about life and society." - Kafū Nagai, pen name for Nagai Sōkichi

"Respect is not carried in great, bold proclamations, but in small moments of surprising intimacy and empathy." - Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot

"What the schools can teach is what we value as a community… love, empathy, caring, cooperation, commitment to others, spiritual and ethical sensitivity, respect for difference, self-discipline, tolerance and honesty." - Michael Lerner

"Authentic humanity evolves to the extent that blind egotism erodes. To expand the heart and mind in ever-wider circles of empathy so that, starting with oneself, those circles embrace one’s family, one’s community, one’s nation, and finally humanity - this is the Confucian aim." - Philip Novak

"Intelligence alone, without wisdom and empathy for suffering, is hollow." -

"The secular or freethinking humanist looks into the self for guidance; response to need comes from deep human feelings of compassion, concern for others, and a desire to help. The freethinker is not motivated by a divine command to act, but rather by personal humanistic response to pain, loneliness, hunger, and homelessness. Benevolent actions are not accompanied by a need to convert or indoctrinate, but rather flow from deep human wellsprings of empathy and a desire to improve the condition of the world." - Gerald Alexander Larue

"Where love, trust, mutual aid, equality, and empathy are not linked, the boot, whip, warring, modern inquisitors, and their epigones will supply a rhetoric that accepts humanity's fate as tragic while doing everything to perpetuate that tragedy." - Marcus G. Raskin

"Expression has a different tone from communication; it involves not only sharing one's own emotional reality but encouraging others to do the same... Emotional self-expression - sharing their authentic feelings honestly and directly and encouraging others to do the same... cultivate empathy but avoid sympathy." - Dan Millman, born Daniel Jay Millman

"I can foresee a day when education will routinely include inculcating essential human competencies such as self-awareness, self-control, and empathy, and the arts of listening, resolving conflicts, and cooperation." - Daniel Goleman

"Charity has no label, compassion no religion, wisdom no dogma, empathy no rules. Integrity needs no laws, enlightenment no temples. Living in total harmony with Tao is beyond culture, oneness with Tao beyond philosophy. Emptiness and silence cannot be defined. The Way has no name, for it is Tao." -

"History is taught with little regard to the ecology, the economics, the sociology or psychology - let alone the biology - that are necessary to understand human action. The same is true of all other academic subjects. Yet if we continue to teach physics separately from ethics, or molecular biology without concern for empathy, the chances of a monstrous evolutionary miscarriage are going to increase. To avoid these possibilities, it is imperative to begin thinking about a truly integrative, global education that takes seriously the actual interconnectedness of causes and effects." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, native form is Csíkszentmihályi Mihály

"Through empathy a man learns not to judge others in terms of his own personal interests, likes and dislikes, but in terms of what life means to them." - Wilferd Peterson, fully Wilferd Arlan Peterson

"Consciousness evolution is from the ego-bound to the transpersonal form. If this is so, it is a source of great hope. Transpersonal consciousness is open to more of the information that reaches the brain than the dominant consciousness of today. This could have momentous consequences. It could produce greater empathy among people, and greater sensitivity to animals, plants, and the entire biosphere. It could create subtle contact with other parts of the cosmos. It could change our world. A society hallmarked by transpersonal consciousness is not likely to be materialistic and self-centered; it would be more deeply and widely informed." - Ervin László

"It is notable how little empathy is cultivated or valued in our society. I put this down to our traditional racism and obsessive sectarianism. Even so, one would think that we would be encouraged to project ourselves into the character of someone of a different race or class, if only to be able to control him. But no effort is made." -

"Intelligence alone, without wisdom and empathy for suffering, is hollow. " - John G. Stoessinger

"Charity has no label, compassion no religion, wisdom no dogma, empathy no rules. Integrity needs no laws, enlightenment no temples. Living in total harmony with Tao is beyond culture, oneness with Tao beyond philosophy. Emptiness and silence cannot be defined. The Way has no name, for it is Tao." - Lao Tzu, ne Li Urh, also Laotse, Lao Tse, Lao Tse, Lao Zi, Laozi, Lao Zi, La-tsze

"Since birth we have been able to resonate with other human beings. A newborn cries when in the presence of other crying babies. Bit by bit, empathy – which at first is only a simple instinctual capacity to resonate – develops and becomes the capacity to understand other people’s feelings and points of view, to identify with them. But if this capacity does not develop sufficiently or if it is thwarted, we are in trouble. If we are insensitive to the emotions of others, each relationship becomes an impossible charade. And if we see others not as living subjects but as things, on par with a refrigerator or a street lamp, we allow ourselves to manipulate and even to violate them." - Piero Ferrucci

"Learning is a result of listening, which in turn leads to even better listening and attentiveness to the other person. In other words, to learn from the child, we must have empathy, and empathy grows as we learn. " - Alice Miller, née Rostovski

"A number of schools around the country are incorporating the teaching of empathy & self-discipline--what social theorists call character education--into their curricula. In New Haven CT, a social development approach is integrated into every public school child's daily routine. Children learn techniques for developing & enhancing social skills, identifying & managing emotions like anger, and solving problems creatively. The program appears to raise grades as well as to improve behavior." - Hillary Rodham Clinton

"I have incredible empathy for their perception of reality, partly because of what I" - Ram Dass, aka Baba Ram Dass, born Richard Alpert

"Inevitably even the most original new ideas will eventually harden into dogma or stop working for everybody." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"The Chinese government keeps installing video cameras in its most troubling cities. Not only do such cameras remind passersby about the panopticon they inhabit, they also supply the secret police with useful clues[...]. Such revolution in video surveillance did not happen without some involvement from Western partners. Researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles, funded in part by the Chinese government, have managed to build surveillance software that can automatically annotate and comment on what it sees, generating text files that can later be searched by humans, obviating the need to watch hours of video footage in search of one particular frame. (To make that possible, the researchers had to recruit twenty graduates of local art colleges in China to annotate and classify a library of more than two million images.) Such automation systems help surveillance to achieve the much needed scale, for as long as the content produced by surveillance cameras can be indexed and searched, one can continue installing new surveillance cameras. [...] The face-recognition industry is so lucrative that even giants like Google can’t resist getting into the game, feeling the growing pressure from saller players like, a popular tool that allows users to find and automatically annotate unique faces that apepar throughout their photo collections. In 2009 launched a Facebook application that first asks users to identify a Facebook friend of theirs ina photo and then proceeds to search the social networking site for other pictures in which that friend appears. By early 2010, the company boasted of scanning 9 billion pictures and identifying 52 million individuals. This is the kind of productivity that would make the KGB envious." - Evgeny Morozov

"It is reasonable to assume that, by and large, what is not read now will not be read, ever. It is also reasonable to assume that practically nothing that is read now will be read later. Finally, it is not too farfetched to imagine a future in which novels are not read at all." - Gore Vidal, fully Eugene Luther Gore Vidal