Human

any member of Homo sapiens, unique extant species of the genus Homo, from embryo to adult
(Redirected from Personally)
For other uses, see Human (disambiguation).

Humans (Homo sapiens) also known as people are apes. They are the extant members of the tribe Hominina, and together with chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, they are also part of the family Hominidae (also known as the hominids and great apes). Humans are terrestrial animals, characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; larger, more complex brains than other primates; and highly advanced and organized societies.

Love, hope, fear, faith — these make humanity;
These are its sign and note and character. ~ Robert Browning
All right. It's instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill - today! ~ Robert Hamner & Gene L. Coon
Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home. —Stephen King
What a piece of work is a man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither; though by your smiling you seem to say so. —William Shakespeare
I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity… ~ William Wordsworth
Homo sapiens has risen from humble mammalian origins millions of years ago to become the most dominant, violent, predatory, and destructive animal on the planet. In a journey without precedent, Homo sapiens evolved from vulnerable prey to apex predator, from threatened species to threatening species, from pockets of Africa to planetary domination. —Steven Best


Arranged alphabetically by author or source:
A · B · C · D · E · F · G · H · I · J · K · L · M · N · O · P · Q · R · S · T · U · V · W · X · Y · Z · Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations · Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations · See also · External links

  • 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.
  • Capable of creating beauty, he yet seems content to dwell mostly in conditions of hopeless ugliness. Of his magnificent body he makes on the whole a travesty. His mind, as an actual potent instrument, he usually ignores altogether.
  • It is as one humanity, chastened, disciplined but illumined and fused, that we must emerge into the future.
  • Our species is prone to a flattering view of itself. Humans have regarded themselves as the pinnacle of creation, formed by and in the image of an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent God, and inhabiting a planet at the center of the universe—a planet around which all others revolve. Science has done much to debunk some of these ideas. We now know that our planet is not at the center of the universe: the earth revolves around the sun rather than vice versa. And we know—or at least some of us do—that we are Johnny-come-lately products of a long, blind evolutionary process.
  • Just one among millions of animal species – many on the brink of extinction and numerous yet to be discovered – Homo sapiens has risen from humble mammalian origins millions of years ago to become the most dominant, violent, predatory, and destructive animal on the planet. In a journey without precedent, Homo sapiens evolved from vulnerable prey to apex predator, from threatened species to threatening species, from pockets of Africa to planetary domination.
  • I judge people by what they might be, — not are, nor will be.
  • A person's lifeworm is a tangle of atomic worldlines. A braid. The dotty little atoms trace out smooth lines in spacetime: you are the pattern that these lines make up. There is no one single atom that is exclusively yours. I breathe an atom out, you breathe it in. Your garbage helps my tomatoes grow. And so the little spacetime threads weave us all together. The human race is a single vast tapestry, linked by our shared food and air. There are larger links as well: sperm, egg and umblilicus. Each family tree is an organic whole. Your spacetime body tapers back to the threads of mother's egg and father's sperm. And children, if you have them, are forever rooted in your flesh.
  • As human beings, we are part of the whole stream of life.
    • Rachel Carson, Speech (1954), in Lost Woods: The Discovered Writing of Rachel Carson (1998)
  • Measured against the vast backdrop of geologic time, the whole era of man seems but a moment—but how portentous a moment!
    • Rachel Carson, Speech at Scripps College (June 1962), in Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment (2018)
  • Who could have foretold that this being, who walked upright and no longer lived in trees, who lurked in caves, hiding in fear from the great beasts who shared his world—who could have guessed that he would one day have in his hands the power to change the very nature of the earth—the of life and death over so many of its creatures? Who could have foretold that the brain that was developing behind those heavy brow ridges would allow him to accomplish things no other creature had achieved-but would not at the same time endow him with wisdom so to control his activities that he would not bring destruction upon himself?
    • Rachel Carson Speech at Scripps College (June 1962) In Rachel Carson: Silent Spring & Other Writings on the Environment
  • Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.
    From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.
  • Someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful, something for people. They are, most of them, so helpless, so hurt and so unhappy.
    • Edith Cavell, as quoted in The Economist (15 October 2010), p. 107.
  • If one denies human life its absolute, transcendental character, the human person loses his inalienable worthiness and his inviolable rights. Then society determines what rights are to be bestowed on a person, and the State becomes absolute lord and master.
    • Thierry Dejond, S. J., "Contraception", “Contraception”, This article originally was printed by Emmaus under the title "Contraception: a social problem.", Eternal Word Television Network, 1996
  • Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society.
  • A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.
  • If humanity was wiped out today, the Earth would return to a paradise in a few hundred years. If we lose bees, we’re a desert, forever. We’re not that important. We’re just one species of narcissistic ape. And some people on social media get annoyed when I say we’re apes. You know, religious types, Americans.
  • The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. They want to turn the world into a sickroom. And once they get humanity strapped to the operating table, they operate on it with an ax.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955), Section 124.
  • It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. ... The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor.
    • Eric Hoffer, The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 11: Brotherhood.
  • Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.
  • With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
  • Human life is sacred... From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God.
    • Pope John XXIII, "Mater et Magistra", Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 53 (1961), 447 [TPS VII, 331].
  • Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
  • Humans are basically good. That's why it takes so much training to march march march kill kill kill kill.
  • Society is composed only of various conditions, professions, functions, and ways of life, among those who form what we call a Nation; of proprietors of the soil, and proprietors of houses; of investments, of handicrafts, of merchants, of manufacturers, of formers; of day-laborers becoming fanners, manufacturers, merchants, or possessors of houses or capital, in their turn; of the rich, of those in easy circumstances, of the poor, of workmen with their hands, workmen with their minds; of day-laborers, of those in need, of a small number of men enjoying considerable acquired or inherited wealth, of others of a smaller fortune painfully increased and improved, of others with property only sufficient for their needs; there are some, finally, without any personal possession but their hands, and gleaning for themselves and for their families, in the workshop, or the field, and at the threshold of the homes of others on the earth, the asylum, the wages, the bread, the instruction, the tools, the daily pay, all those means of existence which they have neither inherited, saved, nor acquired. These last are what have been improperly called the People.
  • You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don't want to be like "As Confucius say," but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens man that people are different.
    • Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)
  • Laborin' man an' laborin' woman
    Hev one glory an' one shame;
    Ev'ythin' thet's done inhuman
    Injers all on 'em the same.
  • O mankind! If ye are in doubt concerning the Resurrection, then lo! We have created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot, then from a little lump of flesh shapely and shapeless, that We may make (it) clear for you. And We cause what We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed time, and afterward We bring you forth as infants, then (give you growth) that ye attain your full strength. And among you there is he who dieth (young), and among you there is he who is brought back to the most abject time of life, so that, after knowledge, he knoweth naught.
  • Man is (self-) destroyed: bow ungrateful!
    From what thing doth He create him?
    From a drop of seed. He createth him and proportioneth him,
    Then maketh the way easy for him,
    Then causeth him to die, and burieth him;
    Then, when He will, He bringeth him again to life.
    Nay, but (man) hath not done what He commanded him.
  • If one of your people
    equals hundreds of ours,
    what does that say about people?
  • Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.
  • "I swear that what I went through, no animal would have gone through." This sentence, the noblest ever spoken, this sentence that defines man's place in the universe, that honors him, that re-establishes the true hierarchy, floated back into my thoughts.
  • The people will live on.
    The learning and blundering people will live on.
  • Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will.
    • Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.
    • Variant translations:
      • Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.
        • As quoted in The Motivated Brain : A Neurophysiological Analysis of Human Behavior (1991) by Pavel Vasilʹevich Simonov, p. 198.
  • Every man’s death does diminish us. And it follows that every man’s poverty, every man’s indignity, every man’s frustration and hopelessness – they are a part of mankind.
  • What a piece of work is a man, How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, In form and moving how express and admirable, In action how like an Angel, In apprehension how like a god, The beauty of the world, The paragon of animals. And yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me; no, nor Woman neither.
  • First Murderer: We are men, my liege.
    Macbeth: Ay, in the catalogue ye go for men;
    As hounds, and greyhounds, mongrels, spaniels, curs,
    Shoughs, water-rugs, and demi-wolves are clept
    All by the name of dogs: the valu’d file
    Distinguishes the swift, the slow, the subtle,
    The housekeeper, the hunter, every one
    According to the gift which bounteous nature
    Hath in him clos’d; whereby he does receive
    Particular addition, from the bill
    That writes them all alike: and so of men.
  • What is brighter than the sun? Yet it disappears. Man is no more than flesh and blood, yet he thinks of doing evil. While the sun surveys the stars in the lofty sky, human beings remain dust and ashes.
  • Many the forms of life,
    Wondrous and strange to see,
    But nought than man appears
    More wondrous and more strange.
  • Social science means inventing a certain brand of human we can understand.
    • Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (2010) The Sage, the Weak, and the Magnificent, p. 95.
  • Were I (who to my cost already am
    One of those strange, prodigious creatures, man)
    A spirit free to choose, for my own share
    What case of flesh and blood I pleased to wear,
    I’d be a dog, a monkey, or a bear,
    Or anything but that vain animal,
    Who is so proud of being rational.
  • I have learned
    To look on nature, not as in the hour
    Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
    The still, sad music of humanity,
    Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
    To chasten and subdue.
    And I have felt
    A presence that disturbs me with the joy
    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
    Of something far more deeply interfused,
    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
    And the round ocean and the living air,
    And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
    A motion and a spirit, that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things.
  • We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.
    • Malcolm X; variant of Speech at Founding Rally of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (28 June 1964), as quoted in By Any Means Necessary: Speeches, Interviews, and a Letter, (1970)

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations

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Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 380.
  • W'en you see a man in woe,
    Walk right up and say "hullo."
    Say "hullo" and "how d'ye do,"
    "How's the world a-usin' you?"
    . . . . .
    W'en you travel through the strange
    Country t'other side the range,
    Then the souls you've cheered will know
    Who you be, an' say "hullo."
  • He held his seat; a friend to human race.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 18. Pope's translation.
  • Respect us, human, and relieve us, poor.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book IX, line 338. Pope's translation.
  • Over the brink of it
    Picture it—think of it,
    Dissolute man.
    Lave in it—drink of it
    Then, if you can.
  • Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
    And flesh and blood so cheap!
  • For He, who gave this vast machine to roll,
    Breathed Life in them, in us a Reasoning Soul;
    That kindred feelings might our state improve,
    And mutual wants conduct to mutual love.
  • It is good to be often reminded of the inconsistency of human nature, and to learn to look without wonder or disgust on the weaknesses which are found in the strongest minds.
  • For nothing human foreign was to him.
    • James Thomson, To the Memory of Lord Talbot, translation of "Humani nihil a me alienum puto".
  • For the interesting and inspiring thing about America, gentlemen, is that she asks nothing for herself except what she has a right to ask for humanity itself.
    • Woodrow Wilson, speech at the luncheon of the Mayor of New York, May 17, 1915.
  • Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
    With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.

Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations

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Quotes reported in Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)
  • There are people in our society who should be separated and discarded. I think it's one of the tendencies of the liberal community to feel that every person in a nation of over 200 million people can be made into a productive citizen.
    I'm realist enough to believe this can't be. We're always going to have our prisons, we're always going to have our places of preventive detention for psychopaths, and we're always going to have a certain number of people in our community who have no desire to achieve or who have no desire to even fit in an amicable way with the rest of society.
    And these people should be separated from the community, not in a callous way but they should be separated as far as any idea that their opinions shall have any effect on the course we follow.
    • Spiro T. Agnew, comments during interview for European audiences which was recorded in Washington, D.C., then broadcast over British Independent Television on June 30, 1970, as reported by The Washington Post, July 2, 1970, p. A3.
  • Where there is no vision, the people perish.
    • The Bible, Proverbs 29:18.
  • I can not wish you success in your effort to reject the treaty because while it may win the fight it may destroy our cause. My plan cannot fail if the people are with us and we ought not to succeed unless we do have the people with us.
    • William Jennings Bryan, letter to Andrew Carnegie, January 13, 1899. Bryan papers, Library of Congress. Andrew Carnegie, working to defeat the treaty of peace with Spain, unsuccessfully sought Bryan's help.
  • I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father's house to believe in democracy. "Trust the people"—that was his message.
    • Winston Churchill, speech to a joint session of Congress, Washington, D.C., December 26, 1941. Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 6, p. 6536 (1974).
  • Your people, sir, is nothing but a great beast!
    • Attributed to Alexander Hamilton, in a political argument with Thomas Jefferson. David S. Muzzey, An American History, p. 192 (1911). For similar expressions of this idea going back to Horace, see Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th ed., p. 108, no. 19 and footnotes (1982), and The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 9th ed., p. 1483–84, section 7 (1964).
  • Would yee both eat your cake, and have your cake?
    • John Heywood, The Proverbs of John Heywood, part 2, chapter 9, p. 162 (1598, reprinted 1874, 1978). The idea that if you spend a thing you cannot have it goes back much further than Heywood's original 1546 work. Plautus wrote c. 194 B.C. in Trinummus (act II, scene iv, line 414), "Non tibi illud apparere si sumas potest" (if you spend a thing you cannot have it), translated as "You cannot eat your cake and have it too" by one Englishman. Comedies of Plautus, trans. Bonnell Thornton, 2d ed., rev., vol. 2, p. 29 (1769).
  • People don't eat in the long run—they eat every day.
    • Attributed to Harry L. Hopkins, who headed the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in 1933. Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History, p. 52 (1948).
  • The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
    • Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, query 19, reprinted in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 2 (1903), p. 230.
  • A sense of this necessity, and a submission to it, is to me a new and consolatory proof that wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
    • Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price (January 8, 1789); in Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (1958), vol. 14, p. 420.
  • The President to-night has a dream:—He was in a party of plain people, and, as it became known who he was, they began to comment on his appearance. One of them said:—"He is a very common-looking man". The President replied:—"The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is the reason he makes so many of them".
    • Attributed to President Abraham Lincoln, December 23, 1863. John Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, vol. 1, p. 142–43 (1908, reprinted 1969).
  • No democracy has ever long survived the failure of its adherents to be ready to die for it…. My own conviction is this, the people must either go on or go under.
    • David Lloyd George, address, conference of trade union delegates, London, January 18, 1918, as reported by The Times (London), January 19, 1918, p. 8.
  • I do not want the voice of the people shut out.
    • Huey Long, remarks in the Senate, May 16, 1932, Congressional Record, vol. 75, p. 10297.
  • Your country is calling you. Our people are calling us. The people of America are calling us to relieve them from the distress that has infested this entire Nation as the result of following the Cabinet officers of the present administration. Your people are asking you to deliver them from this condition that now exists. They are asking relief.
    • Huey Long, remarks in the Senate, May 16, 1932, Congressional Record, vol. 75, p. 10307.
  • If I were to attempt to put my political philosophy tonight into a single phrase, it would be this: Trust the people. Trust their good sense, their decency, their fortitude, their faith. Trust them with the facts. Trust them with the great decisions. And fix as our guiding star the passion to create a society where people can fulfill their own best selves—where no American is held down by race or color, by worldly condition or social status, from gaining what his character earns him as an American citizen, as a human being and as a child of God.
    • Adlai Stevenson, speech at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, September 13, 1956. Stevenson, The New America, ed. Seymour E. Harris, Jr., p. 13–14 (1971).
  • We human beings constitute and reconstitute ourselves through cultural traditions, which we experience as our own development in a historical time that spans the generations. To investigate the life-world as horizon and ground of all experience therefore requires investigating none other than generativity - the processes of becoming, of making and remaking, that occur over the generations and within which any individual genesis is always already situated... Individual subjectivity is intersubjectively and culturally embodied, embedded, and emergent.
    • Evan Thompson, Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind. Harvard University Press, 2010. p. 36
  • No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.
    • George Washington, first inaugural address, April 30, 1789. The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 30, p. 293 (1939).
  • In the last analysis, my fellow countrymen, as we in America would be the first to claim, a people are responsible for the acts of their government.
    • Woodrow Wilson, address, Columbus, Ohio, September 4, 1919. The Messages and Papers of Woodrow Wilson, ed. Albert Shaw, vol. 2, p. 728 (1924).

See also

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