As California Humanities, we’re interested in the different ways people express and share the human condition through culture. Today is Valentine’s Day, so we asked our staff about their favorite quotes related to the theme of love. We wanted to keep it expansive, so here are quotes about all kinds of love—as the ancient Greeks would put it—Filial (e.g. brotherly love or friendship), Agape (unconditional love, God’s love, familial), Eros (romantic or passionate love), Philautia (love for oneself) and more!
Lucena Lau Valle, Associate Program Officer
― M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating
Julie Fry, President & CEO
This quote comes from contemporary author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
“This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.”
Felicia Kelley, Project & Evaluation Director
Felicia contributed an image and several favorite quotes, including this one, which is examined by Czech author and theologian Tomáš Halík in his book I Want You to Be, where he muses on the connection between faith and love:
“I love you: I want you to be”
— attributed to St. Augustine
Felicia also chose the below from renowned public intellectual Cornel West:
“Justice is what love looks like in public.”
Claudia Leung, Communications Manager
Claudia contributed this quote by one of her favorite authors:
“Love takes off the masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time
Mary Valentine, Board Chair
Mary offered up these classic song lyrics (we can’t imagine why):
My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you’re my favorite work of art
Is your figure less than Greek?
Is your mouth a little weak?
When you open it to speak
Are you smiling?
But don’t change your hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay, little Valentine, stay
Each day is Valentine’s
— Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers, My Funny Valentine