„We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.“

—  Cosme de Médici, Attributed to Cosimo de' Medici, Duke of Florence, in Apothegms by Francis Bacon, (1624) No. 206
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Cosme de Médici
O Velho 1389 - 1464

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„We cannot love unless we have accepted forgiveness, and the deeper our experience of forgiveness is, the greater is our love.“

—  Paul Tillich German-American theologian and philosopher 1886 - 1965
The New Being (1955), Chap. 1: "To Whom Much is Forgiven..."

Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no man can ever love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968
1950s, Loving Your Enemies (Christmas 1957), Context: Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning. It is the lifting of a burden or the canceling of a debt. The words "I will forgive you, but never forget what you have done" never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing totally for his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship. Likewise, we can never say, "I will forgive you, but I won't have anything further to do with you." Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no man can ever love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach photo

„We should always forgive. We should forgive the repentant for their sake, the unrepentant for our sake.“

—  Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach Austrian writer 1830 - 1916
Aphorisms (1880/1893), Wir sollen immer verzeihen, dem Reuigen um seinetwillen, dem Reuelosen um unseretwillen. p. 25.

Sarah Bernhardt photo

„We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget.“

—  Sarah Bernhardt French actress 1844 - 1923
My Double Life (1907), Context: Life is short, even for those who live a long time, and we must live for the few who know and appreciate us, who judge and absolve us, and for whom we have the same affection and indulgence. The rest I look upon as a mere crowd, lively or sad, loyal or corrupt, from whom there is nothing to be expected but fleeting emotions, either pleasant or unpleasant, which leave no trace behind them. We ought to hate very rarely, as it is too fatiguing; remain indifferent to a great deal, forgive often and never forget. Ch. 33 <!-- p. 369 -->

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Franz Kafka photo

„I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?“

—  Franz Kafka, Letters to Friends, Family, and Editors
Context: I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound and stab us. If the book we are reading doesn't wake us up with a blow on the head, what are we reading it for?... we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. Letter to Oskar Pollak http://www.languagehat.com/archives/001062.php (27 January 1904) Variant translations: If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us. A book should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us. A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul. A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.

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William Blake photo

„It is easier to forgive an Enemy than to forgive a Friend.“

—  William Blake English Romantic poet and artist 1757 - 1827
1800s, Jerusalem The Emanation of The Giant Albion (c. 1803–1820), Ch. 4, plate 91, line 1

„We read with our ears“

—  Michael Schmidt (poet) American poet 1947
Lives of the Poets, Phoenix, 1988

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