Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Unique

"Do not measure yourself with anybody else’s yardstick. Your obligation is to accomplish with your own unique talents. you do not need anybody else’s approval to be a worthy person." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"The meaning of life is experienced when we are in touch with our unique essence, sometimes called the divine spark within... It is both individual and universal. When we are fully aware of this unique inner radiance, we feel what it is to be utterly alive. We experience unconditional love. We sense complete safety because that spark also connects us to the universal divinity within all things." - Barbara Brennan

"Search for a single, inclusive good is doomed to failure. Such happiness as life is capable of comes from the full participation of all our powers in the endeavor to wrest from each changing situation of experience its own full and unique meaning." - John Dewey

"We are here for communion with God who is Love, the One in whose image and likeness each one of us is made. We find this communion by loving as God loves us... The miracle of all miracles is the ability to transform through love the smallest, seemingly insignificant detail of the routine drudgery of everyday existence into paradise; the ability to become ourselves, at each moment, a fresh paradise to those around us, thereby becoming “gods by grace” for those who are “gods” to us. Each person accepts or rejects communion with God in his or her own unique manner... The act of communion comes always as grace. For those who know it, it is not life’s meaning, purpose or goal. It is life itself: God with us making us what God is." - Thomas Hopko

"We all have a gift. Each of us is born with something unique to express, to do, to become. It is your responsibility to discover your unique gift... Once having been discovered, the gift is developed and nurtured and then it is given back... Real joy comes from giving back, from being authentically you and sharing that authenticity with those around you." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"The great spiritual and political viewpoint of the West is that we are all equal and are all capable of developing into the same end product. Anybody who bothers to examine the facts can easily see we are not all equal. What we really are is not so much equal as unique. None of us is the same as anybody else. In this uniqueness is a profound Spiritual Realization: Life is infinitely creative and requires uniqueness for creativity." - W. Brugh Joy, fully William Brugh Joy

"Each person is a one time phenomenon, an occurrence that has never been before and will never be again. You have a unique blend of character traits and personality. You are unique in your particular family constellation, born in a specific time of history and in a specific environment. This uniqueness gives you great importance. Only you can accomplish your unique life tasks." - Rashi, born Shlomo ben Yitzchok, aka Salomon Isaacides, Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki NULL

"Mankind is a creature of space, a space race living on a planet in orbit around a star, as others are also doing. Mankind is not unique, as he fondly imagines. He is merely a part of the vast interstellar human family bred and nurtured by us through the eons of time on planets in different solar systems throughout the galaxy." - Akon NULL

"The relation of faith between subject and object is unique in every case. Hundreds may believe, but each has to believe by himself." - W. H. Auden, fully Wystan Hugh Auden

"Search for a single, inclusive good is doomed to failure. Such happiness as life is capable of comes from the full participation of all our powers in the endeavor to wrest from each changing situation of experience its own full and unique meaning." - Gamaliel Bailey

"There is no one who cannot find a place for himself in our kind of world. Each of us has some unique capacity waiting for realization. Every person is valuable in his own existence - for himself alone." - George H. Bender

"Teachers of today must have the ability to bring personal meaning to ideas as they investigate, interpret and integrate their thoughts. They must possess their own unique conceptual frameworks on which to hang ideas. They should be able to select, and build upon, significant ideas, observe relationships, and distinguish essential matters from irrelevant and incidental ones." - Dean C. Corrigan

"We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique." - John Dewey

"The essence of our effort to see that every child has a chance must be to assure each an equal opportunity, not to become equal, but to become different - to realize whatever unique potential of body, mind and spirit he or she possesses." - John Fischer

"One intellectual excitement has, however, been denied me. Men wiser and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following another as wave follows upon wave, only one great fact with respect to which, since it is unique, there can be no generalizations, only one safe rule for the historian: that he should recognize in the development of human destinies the play of the contingent and the unforeseen." - Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher

"I had a "near death experience" and remember thinking, "If only people knew what it was like to die, they wouldn't be afraid." I reached a point at which a voice began to ask me if I thought I'd completed what I'd come to do. was I going to leave my son, then age three, behind? There was no sense of threat or coercion. An absolute acceptance that whatever I did was all right, but pointing out that the moment of choice was now. The relief and release from the fear of dying changed my life. The reminder that "I am not my body" freed me to live my life in a different way. The understanding that no matter what is going on in our bodies, the essence of who we are is unaffected; this wisdom has enabled me to help other see their bodies in a different way. To see the body in illness not as an enemy, but as a faithful fried, programmed by; the soul to react in that exact way. To see illness as a confrontation in the physical of what one is reluctant to confront on the mental or emotional levels. In other words, a message, a communication, a time to listen and therefore a unique and powerful opportunity for transformation." - Soozi Holbeche

"He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he tried and failed." - William James

"Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon. It is a weapon unique in history, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Being 'awake in your dreams' provides the opportunity for unique and compelling adventures rarely surpassed elsewhere in life... [As a skill] it has considerable potential for promoting personal growth and self-development, enhancing self-confidence, improving mental and physical health, facilitating creative problem-solving, and helping you to progress on the path to self-mastery." - Stephen LaBerge

"Growing up is after all only the understanding that one's unique and incredible experience is what everyone shares." - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

"What is a miracle? The natural law of a unique event." - Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

"One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings." -

"There is no such thing as an average man. Each one of us is a unique individual. Each one of us expresses his humanity and his divinity in some distinctly different way. The beauty and the bloom of each human soul is a thing apart - a separate holy miracle under God, never once repeated throughout all the millenniums of time." - Lane Weston

"Love at its highest point - love, sublime, unique, invincible - leads us straight to the brink of the great abyss, for it speaks to us directly of the infinite and of eternity. It is eminently religious." - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"Love rests on the preservation of our species; art is our instinctive instrument for the preservation of the individual, of the unique man, woman and child, and the means of evolution of us all into something able and worthy of survival on the living earth." - Earle Birney, fully Earle Alfred Birney

"To truly serve, purpose must be connected to our unique authenticity. That is why money cannot serve as our purpose. It can be a goal, but not a purpose." - Lenedra J. Carroll

"Although the universe dwarfs man by its size and power, yet he can rest secure in the unique gift of spirit wherewith he can observe and discuss it all." -

"Men wiser and more learned than I have discerned in history a plot, a rhythm, a predetermined pattern. These harmonies are concealed from me. I can see only one emergency following upon another as wave follows upon wave, only one great fact with respect to which, since it is unique, there can be no generalizations, only one safe rule for the historian: that they should recognize in the development of human destinies the play of the contingent and the unforeseen." - H.A.L. Fisher, fully Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher

"Prayer is an expression of man’s inner yearning for a response in the awful silence of the universe. It is a unique process of discovery whereby the searching ego affirms itself in the very moment of self-negation, and thus discovers its own worth and justification as a dynamic factor in the life of the universe." - Mohamed Iqbal or Sir Muhammad Iqbal, aka Allama Iqbal

"It takes courage to experience the freedom that comes with autonomy, courage to accept intimacy and directly encounter other persons, courage to take a stand in an unpopular cause, courage to choose authenticity over approval and to choose it again and again, courage to accept the responsibility for your own choices, and, indeed, courage to be the unique person you really are." - Muriel James and Dorothy Jongeward

"As painful as shame is, it does seem to be the guardian of many of the secret, unexplored aspects of our beings. Repressed shame must be experienced if we are to come to terms with the good, the bad, and the unique of what we are." - Robert Karen

"An individual does not comprehend his or her self as a linear sequence – a succession of roles or a trajectory of “socialize” beings, learning and then acting out (or deviating from) a set of socially appropriate rules of behavior. Moreover, identity in old age is not merely the sum of the parts, whether roles, achievements, losses, or social norms. Instead, people dynamically integrate a wide range of experience – unique situations, structural forces, values, cultural pathways, knowledge of an entire life span – to construct a current and viable identity." - Sharon R. Kaufman

"Man is unique in that he knows nothing. He can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak nor walk nor eat, in fact he can do nothing by natural instinct alone except weep." -

"The present is always unique, never a mere exemplification of general formulas. It carries an irreducible preciousness, a freight of meaning greater than the general essence which later on knowledge can abstract from it." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"The roots of ultimate insights are found not on the level of discursive thinking, but on the level of wonder and radical amazement, in the depth of awe, in our sensitivity to the mystery, in our awareness of the ineffable. It is the level on which the great things happen to the soul, where the unique insights of art, religion, and philosophy come into being." - Fritz A. Rothschild

"Because God is One, all our lives have various and unique places in the harmony of the divine life. And because God attains and wins and finds this uniqueness, all our lives win in our union with him the individuality which is essential to their true meaning." - Josiah Royce

"So far as we live and strive at all, our lives are various, are needed for the whole, and are unique. No one of our lives can be substituted for another; no one of us finite beings can take another’s place. And all of this is true just because the Universe is one significant whole." - Josiah Royce

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so." -

"A wonderful realization will be the day you realize that you are unique in all the world. There is nothing that is an accident. You are a special combination for a purpose-and don't let them tell you otherwise, even if they tell you that purpose is an illusion. (Live an illusion if you have to). You are that combination so that you can do what is essential for you to do. Don't ever believe that you have nothing to contribute. The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry. And only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours." -

"[Plato's ideal society] guarantees to all people the right to an education that diagnoses and perfects their unique talents, plus a work role that conveys a sense of self-esteem, saving them from the neuroses of megalomania and the lust for power. It forbids privilege and sexism and all other criteria irrelevant to merit. It eliminates conflict of interest from those who hold office and gives the masses a potent checklist they can use to hold their rulers to account. Best of all, it eliminates all traces of "might makes right" and serves as a pattern laid up in heaven to rank actual societies in terms of what corrupts them. Society becomes more corrupt as the struggle for power becomes more brutal." - James R. Flynn, aka Jim Flynn

"Respect is not fear and awe; it...is the ability to see a person as he is, to be aware of his unique individuality. Respect, thus, implies the absence of exploitation. I want the loved person to grow and unfold for his own sake, and in his own ways, and not for the purpose of serving me." -

"Our species is unique in its great creativity with respect to meaningfulness. Our systems of meaning vary tremendously from moment to moment, from one individual to another, and from society to society." - Irving Singer

"Seize from every moment in its unique novelty and do not prepare your joys." - André Gide, fully André Paul Guillaume Gide

"Man’s unique reward.. is that while animals survive by adjusting themselves to their background, man survives by adjusting his background to himself." - Ayn Rand, born Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum

"We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique." - Benjamin Jowett

"Evil is easily discovered; there is an infinite variety; good is almost unique. But some kinds of evil are almost as difficult to discover as that which we call good; and often particular evil of this class passes for good. It needs even a certain greatness of soul to attain to this, as to that which is good." - Blaise Pascal

"It is the American vice, the democratic disease which expresses its tyranny by reducing everything unique to the level of the herd." - Henry Miller, aka Henry Valentine Miller

"Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, and only once in this way and never again." -

"Every man is more than just himself; he also represents the unique, the very special and the always significant and remarkable point at which the world's phenomena intersect, only once in this way and never again." -

"The unique ability of humans to imagine gives enormous power to idealism, an imagining of a better state of things not yet in existence. That power has been misused to send young men to war. But the power of idealism can also be used to attain justice, to end the massive violence of war." - Howard Zinn