„The word love has become so devalued, we have to put words in front of it, like 'unconditional'.“

—  David Icke
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Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
Context: I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. Context: I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind. I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the "isness" of man's present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal "oughtness" that forever confronts him. I refuse to accept the idea that man is mere flotsam and jetsam in the river of life, unable to influence the unfolding events which surround him. I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.

Henri Nouwen photo

„We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval.“

—  Henri Nouwen Dutch priest and writer 1932 - 1996
Context: We often confuse unconditional love with unconditional approval. God loves us without conditions but does not approve of every human behavior. God doesn’t approve of betrayal, violence, hatred, suspicion, and all other expressions of evil, because they all contradict the love God wants to instill in the human heart. Evil is the absence of God’s love. Bread For the Journey (1996)

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Yasunari Kawabata photo
James Anthony Froude photo

„We have not yet found the liberty with which Christ has made us free. Infidels, Arthur! Ah, it is a hard word ! The only infidelity I know is to distrust God, to distrust his care of us, his love for us. And yet that word! How words cling to us, and like an accursed spell force us to become what they say we have become.“

—  James Anthony Froude English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine 1818 - 1894
Context: The Mahometans say their Koran was written by God. The Hindoos say the Vedas were; we say the Bible was, and we are but interested witnesses in deciding absolutely and exclusively for ourselves. If it be immeasurably the highest of the three, it is because it is not the most divine but the most human. It does not differ from them in kind; and it seems to me that in ascribing it to God we are doing a double dishonour; to ourselves for want of faith in our soul's strength, and to God in making Him responsible for our weakness. There is nothing in it but what men might have written; much, oh much, which it would drive me mad to think any but men, and most mistaken men, had written. Yet still, as a whole, it is by far the noblest collection of sacred books in the world; the outpouring of the mind of a people in whom a larger share of God's spirit was for many centuries working than in any other of mankind, or who at least most clearly caught and carried home to themselves the idea of the direct and immediate dependence of the world upon Him. It is so good that as men looked at it they said this is too good for man: nothing but the inspiration of God could have given this. Likely enough men should say so; but what might be admired as a metaphor became petrified into a doctrine, and perhaps the world has never witnessed any more grotesque idol-worship than what has resulted from it in modern Bibliolatry. And yet they say we are not Christians, we cannot be religious teachers, nay, we are without religion, we are infidels, unless we believe with them. We have not yet found the liberty with which Christ has made us free. Infidels, Arthur! Ah, it is a hard word! The only infidelity I know is to distrust God, to distrust his care of us, his love for us. And yet that word! How words cling to us, and like an accursed spell force us to become what they say we have become. Letter III

Helen Keller photo
Gillian Flynn photo
Elizabeth Gilbert photo
James Clavell photo
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Abraham Joshua Heschel photo

„Language has been reduced to labels, talk has become double-talk. We are in the process of losing faith in the reality of words.“

—  Abraham Joshua Heschel Polish-American Conservative Judaism Rabbi 1907 - 1972
Context: One of the results of the rapid depersonalization of our age is a crisis of speech, profanation of language. We have trifled with the name of God, we have taken the name and the word of the Holy in vain. Language has been reduced to labels, talk has become double-talk. We are in the process of losing faith in the reality of words. Yet prayer can happen only when words reverberate with power and inner life, when uttered as an earnest, as a promise. On the other hand, there is a high degree of obsolescence in the traditional language of the theology of prayer. Renewal of prayer calls for a renewal of language, of cleansing the words, of revival of meanings. The strength of faith is in silence, and in words that hibernate and wait. Uttered faith must come out as a surplus of silence, as the fruit of lived faith, of enduring intimacy. Theological education must deepen privacy, strive for daily renewal of innerness, cultivate ingredients of religious existence, reverence and responsibility. "No Religion is an Island", p. 264

Ray Charles photo

„Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap.“

—  Ray Charles American musician 1930 - 2004
Context: Women anchor me. They're there when I need them. They're sensitive to me, and I'm sensitive to them. I'm not saying I've loved that many women. Love is a special word, and I use it only when I mean it. You say the word too much and it becomes cheap. But sex is something else. I'm not sure that there can ever be too much sex. To me, it's another one of our daily requirements — like eating. If I go twenty-four hours without it, I get hungry. Sex needs to be open and fun, free and happy. It's whatever you make it, and I try my hardest to create situations where me and my woman can enjoy ourselves — all of ourselves — without our inhibitions getting in the way. You got to set your mind right and the rest will come to you naturally. No restrictions, no hang-ups, no stupid rules, no formalities, no forbidden fruit — just everyone getting and giving as much as he and she can. For the Love of Women, p. 239

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Peace Pilgrim photo

„The key word for our time is practice. We have all the light we need, we just need to put it into practice.“

—  Peace Pilgrim American non-denominational spiritual teacher 1908 - 1981
Context: Please don't say lightly that these are just religious concepts and not practical. These are laws governing human conduct, which apply as rigidly as the law of gravity. When we disregard these laws in any walk of life, chaos results. Through obedience to these laws this world of ours will enter a period of peace and richness of life beyond our fondest dreams. The key word for our time is practice. We have all the light we need, we just need to put it into practice. Ch. 3 : The Pilgrimage

Agatha Christie photo
 Nas photo

„A thug changes, and love changes
and best friends become strangers, word up“

—  Nas American rapper, record producer and entrepreneur 1973
The Message

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