Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Self-sacrifice

"There is nothing that can not be accomplished by the spirit of gratitude and self-sacrifice." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"We communicate happiness to others not often by great acts of devotion and self-sacrifice, but by the absence of fault-finding and censure, by being ready to sympathize with their notions and feelings, instead of forcing them to sympathize with ours." - William Newton Clarke

"Beautiful is the activity that works for good, and the stillness that waits for good; blessed the self-sacrifice that waits for good; blessed the self-sacrifice of the one, and the self-forgetfulness of the other." - Robert Collyer

"Right is might, and ever was, and ever shall be so. Holiness, meekness, patience, humility, self-denial, and self-sacrifice, faith, love, each is might and every gift of the spirit is might." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"In the highest selflessness lies the greatest power. Ultimately, neglect of duty is due to selfishness. Because of selfishness we omit the good and commit the bad. Selfishness makes us shrink from the fulfillment of our life-task. The humble person with integrity has no trace of selfishness, his self-sacrifice is not obstructed by egotism. He is always ready to use the last spark of his energy and the last fiber of his being in doing good. He feels he has been granted life only to use his every breath for the energetic fulfillment of the good. His entire sojourn on earth, regardless of the length of its duration, is true living. When he has departed from the world, one may say of him: He was alive." - Samson Raphael Hirsch

"Self-sacrifice is never entirely unselfish, for the give never fails to receive." - Dolores E. McGuire

""Every man has a price." This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others." -

"The People have the right to the Truth as they have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not right that they be exploited and deceived with false views of life, false characters, false sentiment, false morality, false history, false philosophy, false emotions, false heroism, false notions of self-sacrifice, false views of religion , of duty, of conduct and manners." - Benjamin Franklin "Frank" Norris

"Consideration is not merely a matter of emotional goodwill but of intellectual vigor and moral self-sacrifice. Wisdom must combine with sympathy. That is why consideration underlies the phrase "a scholar and a gentleman," which really sums up the ideal of the output of a college education." - Charles Seymour

"He who gives what he would readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self-sacrifice." - Henry Junior Taylor

"The principle of self-interest rightly understood produces no great acts of self-sacrifice, but it suggests daily small acts of self-denial. By itself it cannot suffice to make a an virtuous; but it disciplines a number of persons in habits of regularity, temperance, moderation, foresight, self-command; and, if it does not lead men straight to virtue by the will, it gradually draws them in that direction by their habits. Observe some few individuals, they are lowered by it; survey mankind, it is raised." -

"Not alms but self-sacrifice leads man to perfection." - Jacob ben Aaron of Karlin

"No fine work can be done without concentration and self-sacrifice and toil and doubt." - Max Beerbohm, fully Sir Henry Maximilian "Max" Beerbohm

"They believe their words. Everybody shows a respectful deference to certain sounds that he and his fellows can make. But about feelings people really know nothing. We talk with indignation or enthusiasm; we talk about oppression, cruelty, crime, devotion, self-sacrifice, virtue, and we know very little beyond the words." - Joseph Conrad, born Teodor Josef Konrad Korzeniowski

"Peace comes only from loving, from mutual self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness. Few today have humility or wisdom enough to know the world's deep need of love. We are too much possessed by national and racial and cultural pride." - Horace William Baden Donegan

"Happiness is a rebound from hard work. One of the follies of man is to assume that he can enjoy mere emotion. As well try to eat beauty. Happiness must be tricked. She loves to see men work. She loves sweat, weariness, self-sacrifice. She will not be found in the palaces, but lurking in cornfields and factories, and hovering over littered desks. She crowns the unconscious head of the busy child." -

"Self-sacrifice of one innocent man is a million times more potent than the sacrifice of a million men who die in the act of killing others." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Paradoxically, then, the best life to live will be one that is constantly struggling to become a different sort of life, a life with more virtue and less enjoyment, with more to admire and less to envy. If that best of lives were to succeed in becoming what it strives to change itself into, however, it would not longer be the best of lives. It would then be a life purely of self-sacrifice, an unenviable life suitable only for admiration. So what life should we seek, then? If what we are asking is either what kind of life to seek in order to gain a purely enviable life, or what kind of life to seek in order to achieve a purely admirable life, for those questions, the answer is fairly easy. Only a life with both elements resonates with a full portion of good. And that life, I think we have to recognize, will also be a life in which the two types of good remain in tension; a life in which the enviable and the admirable are never quite reconciled." - Patrick Grim

"Eternal peace is a dream, and not even a beautiful one. War is a part of God’s world order. In it are developed the noblest virtues of man: courage and abnegation, dutifulness and self-sacrifice. Without war the world would sink into materialism." - Helmuth von Moltke the Elder, fully Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Molke

"You should remember that though another may have more money, beauty, and brains than you, when it comes to the rarer spiritual values such as charity, self-sacrifice, honor and nobility of heart, you have an equal chance with everyone to be the most beloved and honored of all people." - Archibald Rutledge

"Self-preservation is the first law of nature; self-sacrifice the highest rule of grace." - Author Unknown NULL

"Self-sacrifice enables us to sacrifice other people without blushing." - George Bernard Shaw

"It is not by reason, but most often in spite of it, that area created those sentiments that are the mainsprings of all civilization – sentiments such as honor, self-sacrifice, religious faith, patriotism, and the love of glory." - Gustave Le Bon

"The world will never have lasting peace so long as men reserve for war the finest human qualities. Peace, no less than war, requires idealism and self-sacrifice and a righteous and dynamic faith." - John Foster Dulles

"Sentiment and nobility and love are immortal... Tenderness and loyalty, and patience, and self-sacrifice, and devotion to duty - these are life’s natural aspirations." - Norman Vincent Peale

"Self-sacrifice is the real miracle out of which all reported miracles grow." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Loyalty means nothing unless it has at its heart the absolute principle of self-sacrifice." - Woodrow Wilson, fully Thomas Woodrow Wilson

"Happiness is a rebound from hard work. One of the follies of man is to assume that he can enjoy mere emotion. As well try to eat beauty. Happiness must be tricked. She loves to see men work. She loves sweat, weariness, self-sacrifice. She will not be found in the palaces, but lurking in cornfields and factories, and hovering over littered desks. She crowns the unconscious head of the busy child. " - David Grayson, pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker

"'Every man has a price.' This is not true. but for every man there exists a bait which he cannot resist swallowing. To win over certain people to something, it is only necessary to give it a gloss of love of humanity, nobility, gentleness, self-sacrifice - and there is nothing you cannot get them to swallow. To their souls, these are the icing, the tidbit: other kinds of soul have others." - Friedrich Nietzsche, fully Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

"For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice - no paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service." - John Burroughs

"Gentleness, self-sacrifice and generosity are the exclusive possession of no one race or religion." - Mahatma Gandhi, fully Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, aka Bapu

"Loyalty and devotion lead to bravery. Bravery leads to the spirit of self-sacriice. The spirit of self-sacrifice creates trust in the power of love." - Morihei Ueshiba

"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." - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum

"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!" - Philip Wylie, fully Philip Gordon Wylie

"Is Humanism a religion, perhaps, the next great religion? Yes, it must be so characterized, for the word, religion, has become a symbol for answers to that basic interrogation of human life, the human situation, and the nature of things---which every human being, in some degree and in some fashion, makes. What can I expect from life? What kind of universe is it? Is there, as some say, a friendly Providence in control of it? And, if not, what then? The universe of discourse of religion consists of such questions, and the answers relevant to them. Christian theism and Vedantic mysticism are but historic frameworks in relation to which answers have in the past been given to these poignant and persistent queries. But there is nothing sacrosanct and self-certifying about these frameworks. What Humanism represents is the awareness of another framework, more consonant with wider and deeper knowledge about man and his world. The Humanist movement is engaged in formulating answers, with what wisdom it can achieve, to these basic questions. It would be absurd to expect complete novelty in either framework or answers. Many people throughout the ages have had a shrewd suspicion that established beliefs were insecurely based. Humanism at its best represents a growth and a maturing of its perspective...I fear that the orthodox idea of religion is something static and given---once for all. The Humanist thinks of his answers as responsible ones, that is, responsible to the best thought and knowledge on the subjects involved. He [they are] is always ready for honest debate... I want to contrast the perspective of Humanism with that of traditional rationalism...There is no Humanist who does not appreciate with respect and admiration the moving story of the Gospels. Seen as one of the culminations of Judaism in the setting of the Roman Empire, it speaks to us of nobility of soul, human love, pity, and comradeship; and this among everyday people fired by moral and religious leadership of high quality. The heroic and the earthly touch meet, and mingle; and so it has been ever since... What have the intervening centuries made possible? The gradual disentangling of ethical principle and example from both the early framework of belief and the later ecclesiastical development of power and dogma which supervened. But the notes of love and self-sacrifice remain as perennial chords. This also, is greatly human. The older rationalism was on the defensive. And so it expressed itself too often in negative terms: not this; not that; not God; not revelation; not personal immortality. What Humanism signified was a shift from negation to construction. There came a time when naturalism no longer felt on the defensive. Rather, supernaturalism began, it its eyes, to grow dim and fade out despite all the blustering and rationalizations of its advocates." - R. W. Sellars, fully Roy Wood Sellars

"Human child birth is an act which transforms the woman into an almost lifeless, bloodstained heap of flesh, tortured, tormented and driven frantic by pain." - Vladimir Lenin, fully Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

"The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single-pointed focus, he taught. But what about the benefits of living harmoniously among extremes? What if you could somehow create an expansive enough life that you could synchronize seemingly incongruous opposites into a worldview that excludes nothing?" - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Nature never repeats herself, and the possibilities of one human soul will never be found in another." - Elizabeth Cady Stanton