It is a mistake to think that there are times when you can safely address a person without love. You can work with objects without love–cutting wood, baking bricks, making iron–but you cannot work with people without love. In the same way as you cannot work with bees without being cautious, you cannot work with people without being mindful of their humanity. It is the quality of people as it is of bees: if you are not very cautious with them, then you harm both yourself and them. It cannot be otherwise; because mutual love is the major law of our existence.

Until I can see that the major commandment of Christ–love your enemies–is being fulfilled, I will continue to believe that many people are not real Christians, but only pretend to be Christians.

–Gotthold Ephraim Lessing  

(22 January 1729 – 15 February 1781) was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist, publicist and art critic, and an outstanding representative of the Enlightenment era. His plays and theoretical writings substantially influenced the development of German literature.

This quote is from the April 21 entry of A Calendar of Wisdom by Leo Tolstoy,

2 Comments

  1. Lin Ennis on April 22, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    Wow! “In the same way as you cannot work with bees without being cautious, you cannot work with people without being mindful of their humanity.”

    Brilliant.

  2. Nancy Shefelbine on April 23, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Keep in that happy writing “zone: my friend.

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