"One of my principles is that I must pass on what I receive to others... I owe it to those who came before... and feel the need to pay back. Call it gratitude... There is divine beauty in learning, just as there is human beauty in tolerance. To learn means to accept the postulate that life did not begin at my birth. Others have been here before me, and I walk in their footsteps. The books I have read were composed by generations of fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, teachers and disciples. I am the sum total of their experiences, their quests. And so are you... I also pray: Do not make someone else pay the price for your pain... Only a fanatic does that-- you have to learn to reject fanaticism. You know that fanaticism leads to hatred, and hatred is both destructive and self-destructive... True education negates fanaticism... I insist: All collective judgements are wrong."
--from a commencement speech he delivered at Harvard in the early 1990s.
"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference to life and death. Indifference is the enemy."*
"A szeretet ellentéte nem a gyűlölet, hanem a közöny. A művészet ellentéte nem a rútság, hanem az érzéketlenség. A hit ellentéte nem az eretnekség, hanem a közöny. Az élet ellentéte nem a halál, hanem a közömbösség az élettel és a halállal szemben. A közöny az ellenség."