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Philosophical Quotes on Catastrophes, Misfortunes, and Compassion


Here is a favorite collection of quotes on catastrophes, misfortunes, and the capacity for compassion, which may be useful especially for those with an interest in ethics , humans passions and desires. Hope you enjoy it and, please, if you have any suggestion, do not hesitate to contact me!

"How small the vastest of human catastrophes may seem at a distance of a few million miles." (Herbert George Wells, 1866-1946)

"The catastrophe of the atomic bombs which shook men out of cities and businesses and economic relations, shook them also out of their old-established habits of thought, and out of the lightly held beliefs and prejudices that came down to them from the past." (Herbert George Wells, 1866-1946)

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe... Yet, clumsily or smoothly, the world, it seems, progresses and will progress" (Herbert George Wells, 1866-1946)

"A hundred times I have thought: New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: it is a beautiful catastrophe." (Le Corbusier, 1887-1965)

"Pleasure is always in the past or in the future, never in the present." (Giacomo Leopardi, 1798-1837)

"Nearly all men die of their remedies, and not of their illnesses." (Molière, 1622-1673)

"Real misanthropes are not found in solitude, but in the world; since it is experience of life, and not philosophy, which produces real hatred of mankind." (Giacomo Leopardi, 1798-1837)

"Misfortunes cannot suffice to make a fool into an intelligent man." (Cesare Pavese, 1908-1950)

"It is the nature of mortals to kick a fallen man." (Aeschylus, 525-456 B.C.)

"Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them." (Charles Caleb Colton, 1780-1832)

"I never knew any man in my life, who could not bear another's misfortunes perfectly like a Christian." (Alexander Pope, 1688-1744)

"I have very strongly of late the wish that others may be as sensitive as myself and the fear that they will not be. Colleague Sir Frank Adcock stumped by the sunset-portent unheeding. And I can't arge that I gain, or that others would gain, anything for humanity by observing and recording what went on for a few moments in the sky on Boar Race evening. I sometimes pretend to myself that I am public-spirited. I am not. I am an hedonist who wants pleasant sensations. On the other hand I am not the usual type of hedonist, for I want sensations to be had – if not by myself, then by someone else. The show shouldn't end with my death, which becomes a minor boo-hoo." (Edward Morgan Forster, 1879-1970)

"It is not sufficient to have compassion only for those who are cute." (Richard Summerbell, 1956 –)

"If you wish me well, do not stand pitying me, but lend me some succour as fast as you can; for pity is but cold comfort when one is up to the chin in water, and within a hair's breadth of starving or drowning." (Aesop, 620-560 B.C.)

"Yet, let it not be thought that I would exclude pity from the human mind. There are scarcely any that are not, to some degree, possessed of this pleasing softness; but it is at best but a short-lived passion, and seldom affords distress more than transitory assistance; with some it scarce lasts from the first impulse till the hand can be put into the pocket…" (Oliver Goldsmith, 1730-1774)

"When you visualized a man or woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity — that was a quality God's image carried with it. When you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination." (Graham Greene, 1904-1991)
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