Humanity

761 – Washington on the State of the World and Its Future

“On these occasions I consider how mankind may be connected like one great family in fraternal ties—I endulge a fond, perhaps an enthusiastic idea, that as the world is evidently much less barbarous than it has been, its melioration must still be progressive—that nations are becoming more humanized in their policy—that the subjects of ambition & causes for hostility are daily diminishing—and in fine, that the period is not very remote when the benefits of a liberal & free commerce will, pretty generally, succeed to the devastations & horrors of war.”

–George Washington, 1st President of the United States of America

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702 – Quote on The Christmas Truce

“I went to rest, and lying on my cot, I must have drifted asleep. At once my friend awoke me, saying, ‘Come and see! See what the Germans are doing!’ I grabbed my rifle, stumbled out into the trench, and stuck my head cautiously above the sandbags. And I  saw clusters of tiny lights were shining all along the German line.

Bewildered by the sight I realized they were Christmas trees! And so it was. The Germans had placed Christmas trees along their trenches. And then we heard their voices raised in song, ‘Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht…’, they were singing the carol ‘Silent Night’.

When the song finished, the men in our trenches applauded the German soldiers. We thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang ‘The First Noel’, and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, ‘O Tannenbaum’. And so it went on.

First the Germans would sing one of their carols, and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words ‘Adeste Fideles’. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

–British Soldier During World War I on the Christmas Truce of 1914 [Likely derived from the work of Aaron Shepard, See Source for Details]

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616 – “But I have always been struck, in America, by an emotional poverty so bottomless, and a terror of human life, of human touch, so deep, that virtually no American appears able to achieve any viable, organic connection between his public stance and his private life.”

–James Baldwin

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602 – John McCain on the State of the World

“The times we live in are alternately derided for their failings and romanticized for their emerging opportunities. It sometimes seems that we now live amid greater violence, greater uncertainty; that the world suffers more conflicts and tragedies; that the poor are poorer and greater in number; that race, ethnicity and nationalism divide us more intractably than ever before.
But that is not so. Human beings are still capable of violence and cruelty. We all succumb to sin. But look back at any preceding century or even just a few decades, and you will see cruelty, violence and misery on a scale that is, with few exceptions, unknown today.”

–John McCain, United States Senator from Arizonia
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“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. This will happen if we see the need to revive our sense of belonging to a larger family of life, with which we have shared our evolutionary process. In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now.”

–Wangari Maathai

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548 – “There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.”

–Leo Tolstoy
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