Cal Humanities

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

"Part of resilience is finding joy, finding beauty, finding love."

— George Takei, Actor, Author, Director, Activist

California Love—Our Favorite Quotes for Valentine’s Day

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

Lucena shared a quote from one of her favorite Californians, M.F.K. Fisher:
“It seems to me that our three basic needs, for food and security and love, are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others. So it happens that when I write of hunger, I am really writing about love and the hunger for it, and warmth and the love of it and the hunger for it… and then the warmth and richness and fine reality of hunger satisfied… and it is all one.”
― 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.”

― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun

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:

Sister Corita Kent, who served in the L.A. Catholic Archdiocese, created the artwork for the famed Love stamp, sold by the US Post Office.

“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.”

Cornel West


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


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