„We know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all, for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.“

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Albert Einstein287
1879 - 1955
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„If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace
Context: If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind. Peace Is Every Step : The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life (1992) Bantam reissue

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Thich Nhat Hanh photo

„We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps.“

—  Thich Nhat Hanh Religious leader and peace activist 1926
Context: All life is impermanent. We are all children of the Earth, and, at some time, she will take us back to herself again. We are continually arising from Mother Earth, being nurtured by her, and then returning to her. Like us, plants are born, live for a period of time, and then return to the Earth. When they decompose, they fertilize our gardens. Living vegetables and decomposing vegetables are part of the same reality. Without one, the other cannot be. After six months, compost becomes fresh vegetables again. Plants and the Earth rely on each other. Whether the Earth is fresh, beautiful, and green, or arid and parched depends on the plants. It also depends on us. Our way of walking on the Earth has a great influence on animals and plants. We have killed so many animals and plants and destroyed their environments. Many are now extinct. In turn, our environment is now harming us. We are like sleepwalkers, not knowing what we are doing or where we are heading. Whether we can wake up or not depends on whether we can walk mindfully on our Mother Earth. The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps. The statement "The future of all life, including our own, depends on our mindful steps." and much of the theme of this essay also occur later in his writings, including The World We Have : A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology (2008), Ch. 1 : The Bells of Mindfulness, p. 3

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Jean Paul Sartre photo

„We will freedom for freedom’s sake, in and through particular circumstances. And in thus willing freedom, we discover that it depends entirely upon the freedom of others and that the freedom of others depends upon our own.“

—  Jean Paul Sartre French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary c... 1905 - 1980
Context: We will freedom for freedom’s sake, in and through particular circumstances. And in thus willing freedom, we discover that it depends entirely upon the freedom of others and that the freedom of others depends upon our own. Obviously, freedom as the definition of a man does not depend upon others, but as soon as there is a commitment, I am obliged to will the liberty of others at the same time as my own. I cannot make liberty my aim unless I make that of others equally my aim. Existentialism Is a Humanism, lecture http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm (1946)

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„The generally expressed desire of 'America first' can not be criticized. It is a perfectly correct aspiration for our people to cherish. But the problem which we have to solve is how to make America first. It can not be done by the cultivation of national bigotry, arrogance, or selfishness. Hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions will not be productive of any benefits in this direction. Here again we must apply the rule of toleration. Because there are other peoples whose ways are not our ways, and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, we are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that they are adding nothing to the sum of civilization. We can make little contribution to the welfare of humanity on the theory that we are a superior people and all others are an inferior people.“

—  Calvin Coolidge American politician, 30th president of the United States (in office from 1923 to 1929) 1872 - 1933
Context: The generally expressed desire of 'America first' can not be criticized. It is a perfectly correct aspiration for our people to cherish. But the problem which we have to solve is how to make America first. It can not be done by the cultivation of national bigotry, arrogance, or selfishness. Hatreds, jealousies, and suspicions will not be productive of any benefits in this direction. Here again we must apply the rule of toleration. Because there are other peoples whose ways are not our ways, and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, we are not warranted in drawing the conclusion that they are adding nothing to the sum of civilization. We can make little contribution to the welfare of humanity on the theory that we are a superior people and all others are an inferior people. We do not need to be too loud in the assertion of our own righteousness. It is true that we live under most favorable circumstances. But before we come to the final and irrevocable decision that we are better than everybody else we need to consider what we might do if we had their provocations and their difficulties. We are not likely to improve our own condition or help humanity very much until we come to the sympathetic understanding that human nature is about the same everywhere, that it is rather evenly distributed over the surface of the earth, and that we are all united in a common brotherhood. We can only make America first in the true sense which that means by cultivating a spirit of friendship and good will, by the exercise of the virtues of patience and forbearance, by being 'plenteous in mercy', and through progress at home and helpfulness abroad standing as an example of real service to humanity.

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