Harold S. Kushner quotes

  • What cannot be achieved in one lifetime will happen when one lifetime is joined to another.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Community #Lifetime

  • Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Soul #Comfort #Matter

  • I am quite confident that the most important part of a human being is not his physical body but his nonphysical essence, which some people call soul and others, personality... The nonphysical part cannot die and cannot decay because it's not physical.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Grieving #Essence #People

  • The purpose in life is not to win. The purpose in life is to grow and to share. "When you come to look back on all that you have done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid and defeated them.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Inspirational #Motivational #Winning

  • Given the unfairness that strikes so many people in life, I would rather believe in a God of limited power and unlimited love and justice, rather than the other way around.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #God #Believe #Justice

  • The idea is to find some bit of holiness in everything-food, sex, earning and spending money, having children, conversations with friends. Everything can be seen as a miracle, as part of God's plan. When we can truly see this, we nourish our souls.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Sex #Children #Ideas

  • When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Kindness #Feelings #Body

  • Our inability to see the beauty doesn't suggest in the slightest that beauty is not there. Rather, it suggests that we are not looking carefully enough or with broad enough perspective to see the beauty.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Beauty #Perspective #Inability

  • If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Life #Gratitude #Positivity

  • Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people brings happiness.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Happiness #Running #Caring

  • We have confused God with Santa Claus. And we believe that prayer means making a list of everything you don't have but want and trying to persuade God you deserve it. Now I'm sorry, that's not God, that's Santa Claus.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #God #Sorry #Prayer

  • God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes, but everybody who looks at it sees something different.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Mirrors #Different #Looks

  • There is no right way to do a wrong thing.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Way

  • If we put our soul into our work, if, rather than just going through the motions, what we do flows from the deepest part of our being, then after a burst of creativity, we need to replenish our souls.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Creativity #Soul #Needs

  • At some of the darkest moments in my life, some people I thought of as friends deserted me-some because they cared about me and it hurt them to see me in pain; others because I reminded them of their own vulnerability, and that was more than they could handle. But real friends overcame their discomfort and came to sit with me. If they had not words to make me feel better, they sat in silence (much better than saying, "You'll get over it," or "It's not so bad; others have it worse") and I loved them for it.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Hurt #Pain #Real

  • The happiest people I know are people who don't even think about being happy. They just think about being good neighbors, good people. And then happiness sort of sneaks in the back window while they are busy doing good.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Happiness #Thinking #People

  • One of the most sublime experiences we can ever have is to wake up feeling healthy after we have been sick.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Health #Sick #Feelings

  • Many biblical verses are like inkblot tests, revealing more about us than about the text in question.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Biblical #Tests #Revealing

  • We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that. All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain. Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don't deny it, don't be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever. One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Hurt #Pain #Grief

  • Good people will do good things, lots of them, because they are good people. They will do bad things because they are human.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #People #Good People #Good Things

  • We are here to change the world with small acts of thoughtfulness done daily rather than with one great breakthrough.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Done #World #Thoughtfulness

  • When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Kindness #World #Changing The World

  • You nourish your soul by fulfilling your destiny.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Destiny #Soul #Purpose

  • Being kind to others is a way of being good to yourself.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Charity #Way #Be Kind

  • It is tempting at one level to believe that bad things happen to people (especially other people) because God is a righteous judge who gives them exactly what they deserve. By believing that we keep the world orderly and understandable.... But [this belief] has a number of serious limitations.... It teaches people to blame themselves. It creates guilt when there is no basis for guilt. And most disturbing of all, it does not even fit the facts.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Believe #Responsibility #Numbers

  • I am convinced that it is not the fear of death, of our lives ending, that haunts our sleep so much as the fear that as far as the world is concerned, we might as well never have lived.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Adventure #Sleep #World

  • But at the end, if we are brave enough to love, if we are strong enough to forgive, if we are generous enough to rejoice in another's happiness, and if we are wise enough to know that there is enough love to go around for us all, then we can achieve a fulfillment that no other living creature will ever know, we can reenter paradise.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Wise #Strong #Brave

  • One of the basic needs of every human being is the need to be loved, to have our wishes and feelings taken seriously, to be validated as people who matter.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Taken #People #Feelings

  • When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: Ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Spiritual #Soul #Everyday

  • The circumstances of your life have uniquely qualified you to make a contribution. And if you don't make that contribution, nobody else can make it.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Giving #Circumstances #Contribution

  • Fun can be the dessert of our lives but never its main course.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Fun #Dessert

  • People are so busy chasing happiness- if they would slow down and turn around, they would give it a chance to catch up with them.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #People #Giving #Down And

  • I think of life as a good book. The further you get into it, the more it begins to make sense.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Book #Thinking #Good Book

  • We teach children how to measure and how to weigh. We fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Children #Wonder #Failing

  • Pain is a part of being alive, and we need to learn that. Pain does not last forever, nor is it necessarily unbeatable, and we need to be taught that.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Life #Pain #Forever

  • Forgiveness is a favor we do for ourselves, not a favor we do to the other party.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Party #Favors

  • It is because you have the typical American habit of seeing everything as a test. You see the mountain as your enemy and you set out to defeat it. So, naturally, the mountain fights back and it is stronger than you are. We do not see the mountain as our enemy to be conquered. The purpose of our climb is to become one with the mountain and so it lifts us up and carries us along.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Fighting #Enemy #Mountain

  • Integrity means being whole, unbroken, undivided. It describes a person who has united the different parts of his or her personality, so there is no longer a split in the soul ... For the person of integrity, life may not be easy but it is simple: Figure out what is right and do it. All other considerations come in second.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Integrity #Mean #Simple

  • I wish i spent more time at the office.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Office #Wish #More Time

  • I'm not perfect, ... But i'm enough
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Perfect #Enough

  • God is the light shining in the midst of darkness, not to deny that there is darkness in the world but to reassure us that we do not have to be afraid of the darkness because darkness will always yield to light. As theologian David Griffin puts in, God is all-powerful, His power enables people to deal with events beyond their control and He gives us the strength to do those things because He is with us.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Powerful #Yield #Light

  • I believe that God is totally moral, but nature, one of God's creatures, is not moral. Nature is blind.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Believe #Moral #Blind

  • We cannot live without the knowledge that someone cares about us.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Care

  • If that were God's plan, it's a bad bargain; I don't want to have to deal with a God like that...My sense is God and I came to an accommodation with each other a couple of decades ago, where he's gotten used to the things that I'm not capable of and I've come to terms with things he's not capable of...and we care very much about each other.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Couple #Want

  • You don't become happy by pursuing happiness. You become happy by living a life that means something.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Sadness #Mean

  • Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it. . . . What frustrates us and robs our lives of joy is this absence of meaning. . . . Does our being alive matter?
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Joy #Soul #Littles

  • One man alone can't defeat the forces of evil, but many good people coming together can.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Men #People #Evil

  • Is there an answer to the question of why bad things happen to good people?...The response would be…to forgive the world for not being perfect, to forgive God for not making a better world, to reach out to the people around us, and to go on living despite it all…no longer asking why something happened, but asking how we will respond, what we intend to do now that it has happened.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Perfect #People #Forgiving

  • We do ourselves and others a disservice when we make old age something to be feared...The longer we live, the more life we possess.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Inspirational Life #Age #Old Age

  • Our responding to life's unfairness with sympathy... may be the surest proof of all of God's reality.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Life #Reality #May

  • In all my years of counselling those near death, I've yet to hear anyone say they wish they had spent more time at the office
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Years #Office #Balance

  • Never attribute to malice or other deliberate decision what can be explained by human frailty, imperfection, or ignorance.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Healing #Ignorance #Imperfection

  • When I talk to people who feel this emptiness and lack of fulfillment, I recommend they find a source of balance in their lives. I suggest they find a way to "give back" to the world in order to feel a sense of completeness....
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Order #People #Giving

  • Sometimes we are simply "blown away" and in awe by finding ourselves in the presence of God. Other times, however, even when we are participating in acts of kindness-complimenting others, writing a check to charity, donating time to a good cause-we are oblivious to the miracle of what is happening at that moment.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Kindness #Writing #Miracle

  • You don't have to be religious to have a soul; everybody has one. You don't have to be religious to perfect your soul; I have found saintliness in avowed atheists.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Religious #Atheist #Perfect

  • Prayer is simply coming into the presence of God. Because when you come into the presence of God, even the things you don't have matter a lot less.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #God #Prayer #Matter

  • When facing a dilemma, choose the more morally demanding alternative.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Alternatives #Dilemma

  • Other people may complicate our lives, but life without them would be unbearably desolate. None of us can be truly human in isolation. The qualities that make us human emerge only in the ways we relate to other people.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Teamwork #People #Quality

  • The God I believe in is not so fragile that you hurt Him by being angry at him, or so petty that He will hold it against you for being upset with Him.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Hurt #Believe #Upset

  • I said in an interview at the time that God's job is not to make sick people healthy. That's the doctors' job. God's job is to make sick people brave.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #God #Jobs #Doctors

  • We pray to you, O God ... for strength, determination, and willpower, to do instead of just to pray, to become instead of merely to wish.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Perseverance #Determination #Wish

  • Our human bodies are miracles, not because they defy laws of nature, but precisely because they obey them.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Law #Miracle #Body

  • Our awareness of God starts where self-sufficiency ends.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Self #Awareness #Ends

  • God is the One who is with us when we have to do something we don't think we are capable of doing.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Thinking #Capable

  • People who pray for miracles usually don't get miracles. But people who pray for courage, for strength to bear the unbearable, for the grace to remember what they have left instead of what they have lost, very often find their prayers answered. Their prayers help them tap hidden reserves of faith and courage that were not available to them before.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Prayer #People #Miracle

  • When a mentally retarded child is born, the religious question we often ask is, "Why does God let this happen?" The better question to pose is to ask, "What kind of community should we be so that mental retardation isn't a barrier to the enjoyment of one's full humanity?"
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Religious #Children #Community

  • That is why we have to make room in our lives for people who may sometimes disappoint or exasperate us. If we hold our friends to a standard of perfection, or if they do that to us, we will end up far lonelier than we want to be.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Perfection #People #Rooms

  • Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #People #Growth #Return

  • I suspect that the happiest people you know are the ones who work at being kind, helpful and reliable - and happiness sneaks into their lives while they are busy doing those things. It is a by-product, never a primary goal.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #People #Goal #Be Kind

  • We don't have to be afraid of dying because it's not really death that scares us.  We are afraid of not having lived.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Dying #Scare

  • Seek something outside your nine-to-five job as an additional source of fulfillment and as a way to feel the joy of helping others.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Jobs #Helping Others #Joy

  • Only a life of goodness and honesty leaves us feeling spiritually healthy and human.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Spiritual #Honesty #Healthy

  • A personal relationship with God enhances life. First, it enables us to accept our limitations without being frustrated by them. It assures us that problems we can't solve are not necessarily insoluble. Second, when we need it, God offers us a sense of forgiveness, a sense of cleansing from our incompleteness. . . . Last and perhaps most important, a personal relationship with God redeems us from the fear of death. We needn't be afraid that all our good deeds will vanish when we die.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #God #Frustrated #Important

  • It explains why people come home from work or school and immediately switch on the television. They are not interested in the program much of the time, they do not even know what is on. But they are desperate for the sound of another human voice in their lives
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Home #School #Voice

  • History is written by winners, so most history books are about people who win.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Book #Winning #People

  • None of us has the power to make someone else love us. But we all have the power to give away love, to love other people. And if we do so, we change the kind of world we live in.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Love #People #Giving

  • There seems to be something in the human soul that causes us to think less of ourselves every time we do something wrong... And maybe it is good for us to feel that way. It may make us more sensitive to what we do wrong and move us to repent and grow.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Moving #Thinking #Soul

  • There is a Jewish notion that holiness is found with other people. To understand what life really is, one has to share it.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #People #Holiness #Share

  • The soul is not a physical entity, but instead refers to everything about us that is not physical - our values, memories, identity, sense of humor. Since the soul represents the parts of the human being that are not physical, it cannot get sick, it cannot die, it cannot disappear. In short, the soul is immortal.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Memories #Sick #Soul

  • God does not cause our misfortunes. Some are caused by bad luck, some are caused by bad people, and some are simply an inevitable consequence of our being human and being mortal. living in a world of inflexible natural laws. The painful things that happen to us are not punishments for our misbehavior, nor are they in any way part of some grand design on God's part. Because the tragedy is not God's will, we need not feel hurt or betrayed by God when tragedy strikes. We can turn to Him for help in overcoming it, precisely because we can tell ourselves that God is as outraged by it as we are.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Hurt #Healing #Law

  • One of the sages of the Talmud taught nearly 200 years ago that God could have created a plant that would grow loaves of bread. Instead He created wheat for us to mill and bake into bread. Why? So that we could be HIs partners in completing the work of creation.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Work #Years #Sage

  • Integrity is not something that grownups have and adolescents can aspire to. Integrity is something that all of us, at all ages, are constantly striving for.
    -- Harold S. Kushner

    #Integrity #Age #Strive