Inspirational Quotes by Ellen Key

By | August 15, 2016

Whereas nationalism still seeks power, honour, and glory through means that endanger other countries, patriotism knows that a country’s strength and honour can only be permanently safeguarded through concourse with other countries. And whereas nationalism scoffs at the idea of international laws and regulations, patriotism seeks to create such.

Ellen Key

Love is moral even without legal marriage, but marriage is immoral without love.

Ellen Key

When the sense of solidarity has been developed to such a point that each one feels the cause of all others as his own, we shall be drawing near to international and to social peace.

Ellen Key

At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.

Ellen Key

Corporal punishment is as humiliating for him who gives it as for him who receives it; it is ineffective besides. Neither shame nor physical pain have any other effect than a hardening one.

Ellen Key

The art of natural education consists in ignoring the faults of children nine times out of ten, in avoiding immediate interference, which is usually a mistake, and devoting one’s whole vigilance to the control of the environment in which the child is growing up, to watching the education which is allowed to go on by itself.

Ellen Key

The ever clearer consciousness that love can dispense with marriage, yet marriage cannot dispense with love, is already partially recognized by modern society, by the facility of divorce.

Ellen Key

Everything, everything in war is barbaric… But the worst barbarity of war is that it forces men collectively to commit acts against which individually they would revolt with their whole being.

Ellen Key

In every new generation, the impulses supposed to have been rooted out by discipline in the child break forth again when the struggle for existence – of the individual in society, of the society in the life of the state – begins. These passions are not transformed by the prevalent education of the day, but only repressed.

Ellen Key

When one paints an ideal, one does not need to limit one’s imagination.

Ellen Key

Social motherliness has made women’s struggle for liberty the loveliest synthesis of egoism and altruism.

Ellen Key

When it comes to the application to life of existing laws and morals, woman, because of her willing receptiveness, her elasticity and adaptability combined with her power of tenacious retention, has exerted an influence, the value of which is too vast to be measured.

Ellen Key

Education can give you a skill, but a liberal education can give you dignity.

Ellen Key

It is not sufficient for the young to devote their enthusiasm, their courage, their ambition, their self-sacrifice to the great ideas of the time; the young must not only preserve but increase their powers if they are to be really equal to their eternal task: that of drawing the age in advance.

Ellen Key

Unless one believes in a superhuman reason which directs evolution, one is bound to believe in a reason inherent in humanity, a motive power transcending that of each separate people, just as the power of the organism transcends that of the organ. This reason increases in proportion as the unity of mankind becomes established.

Ellen Key

Men have desired, and justly, that women should learn from their confessions in regard to the conflict between man and woman. But woman, because of the conventional conception of womanly purity, has been intimidated from conceding to men a deep insight into her erotic life experiences.

Ellen Key

The exact sciences, which would be considered a priori as little adapted to women, for example mathematics, astronomy and physics, are exactly those in which thus far they have most distinguished themselves. This contains a warning against too precipitate conclusions about the intellectual life of woman.

Ellen Key

Not observation of a duty but liberty itself is the pledge that assures fidelity.

Ellen Key

The current of emotion, which was formerly directed to gaining eternal bliss, is turned in socialism – in the same degree as the latter is permeated by evolutionism – towards the perfecting of earthly life.

Ellen Key

The belief that we some day shall be able to prevent war is, to me, one with the belief in the possibility of making humanity really human.

Ellen Key

Happiness lies so far from man, but he must begin by daring to will it.

Ellen Key

The condition of all development is not to be content with the present, but to have the courage to ask how everything can be made better and the good fortune to find a right answer to this question in thought or in action.

Ellen Key

The art of living demands that our interest in bringing forth flowers in our family life equal the interest we take in bringing them forth in our window gardens. So long as their home-life aesthetics have not become ethics, women need not expect husbands, children, or servants to feel happy in the homes of their creation.

Ellen Key

When the crying child is immediately isolated, and it is explained to him at the same time that whoever annoys others must not be with them, if this isolation is the absolute result and cannot be avoided, in the child’s mind a basis is laid for the experience that one must be alone when one makes oneself unpleasant or disagreeable.

Ellen Key

At present, the most effective way of preventing war would be for statesmen to direct politics so as to support a sound nationalism. This leads to concordance between people of kindred race and languages, whereas the conquest and coercion of people of different race and language inevitably lead to new wars.

Ellen Key

It is not a dream that someday, nations will be able to settle their difficulties without war, just as individuals now settle their personal feuds without resorting to arguments of physical strength or sharp steel. For, then, humanity will have created international jurisdiction and a power to enforce its laws.

Ellen Key

Morality in its noblest forms remains inexplicable unless one takes into account that power of growth in the human soul which has led generation after generation from lower religious and ethical standards to higher ones which often clash with worldly advantages.

Ellen Key

The married woman as family provider beside the man, often also in place of the man, but always however subservient to the man’s dominion – this is the worst form of woman slavery our time has created.

Ellen Key

When psychical phenomena have been as much investigated as physical, love will also receive its cumatology – that is, its science of waves. We shall follow the curves of the emotions through the ages, their movement of rise and fall, the oppositions and side-influences by which they have been determined.

Ellen Key

While the women of the older generation were thankful if only they succeeded in obtaining ‘a work and a duty,’ however monotonous and wearing it might be, the will of the younger generation for a pleasurable labour has fortunately increased.

Ellen Key

Children must be impressed with the fact that the greatest heroes are those who fight to help others, not those who fight for power or glory. They must be made to understand that victory does not prove that the thing fought for is right, nor that defeat proves that a cause is wrong.

Ellen Key

Lack of courage or means often deters the European woman from more independent business activity, and this in spite of increasing freedom to choose her occupation, in spite of brilliant examples of successful undertakings of women, in photography, hotel or boarding-house management, dress-making, etc.

Ellen Key

The more horrifying this world becomes, the more art becomes abstract.

Ellen Key

The educator must above all understand how to wait; to reckon all effects in the light of the future, not of the present.

Ellen Key

The emancipation of women is practically the greatest egoistic movement of the nineteenth century, and the most intense affirmation of the right of the self that history has yet seen.

Ellen Key

Art, that great undogmatized church.

Ellen Key

Even if national peculiarities in character and in laws occasion differences in the curve which the woman movement describes in the different countries, yet everywhere the movement has had the same causes, must follow the same main direction, and – sooner or later – must have the same effects.

Ellen Key

The woman pastor would often be, especially for women and children, a better minister than the clergyman; for them also, the woman judge might often surpass the man in penetration and understanding.

Ellen Key

How the woman movement has elevated woman’s work, since it has raised the standard of qualification in many fields and increased the feeling of responsibility in all!

Ellen Key

Socialism and the woman movement are two mighty streams which drag along with them great parts of the firm formations which they touch.

Ellen Key

If, in the coming thousand years, a feminine culture shall really supplement the masculine, then this will be exactly in the measure in which women have the courage to create and to act as most feminists now do not even dare think.

Ellen Key

No one who passively endures an injustice against himself has the material in him to struggle for the rights of others. The one who patiently forbears becomes an accessory to the injustice done to others. He who resists the injustice which he himself meets can open up the way to a higher right for others.

Ellen Key

All thoughtful persons perceive that the ideas of the morality of sexual relations upheld by the religions and laws of the Western nations are in our time undergoing a radical transformation.

Ellen Key

Those who profess the faith of Life regard the ideals of mankind as an expression of man’s higher needs. Ideals which were once incentives to development thus become a drag upon it whenever life’s needs demand new forms that are not recognised by the prevailing idealism.

Ellen Key

On the question of marriage, as in all other respects, Lutheranism is a compromise, a bridge between two logical views of the universe: the Catholic-Christian and the Individualistic Monist. And bridges are made to go over, not to stand upon.

Ellen Key

Christianity is sustained by the knowledge that the object of man’s life on earth is his development as an eternal being. Therefore, none of his expressions of life can be an end in itself, but must serve a higher purpose than the earthly life and happiness of the individual – or even than that of the race.

Ellen Key

Great love, like great genius, can never be a duty: both are life’s gracious gifts to its elect.

Ellen Key

Like George Sand, the feminism of the present day asserts the right of free thought against the creed of authority in every field; the solidarity of mankind and the cause of peace against the patriotism of militarism; social reform against the existing relations of society.

Ellen Key

Education must be based on the certainty that faults cannot be atoned for or blotted out, but must always have their consequences. At the same time, there is the other certainty that, through progressive evolution, by slow adaptation to the conditions of environment, they may be transformed.

Ellen Key

For thousands of years, poetry has been picturing love as a mysterious and tragic power. But when anyone says the same thing in plain prose, and adds that life would be colourless and poor without the great passions, then this is called immorality!

Ellen Key

What would happen if we finally succeeded in following the directions of nature and recognized that the great secret of education lies hidden in the maxim, ‘Do not educate’?

Ellen Key

The educator wants the child to be finished at once and perfect. He forces upon the child an unnatural degree of self-mastery, a devotion to duty, a sense of honour – habits that adults get out of with astonishing rapidity.

Ellen Key

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