Rising to literary acclaim in for his semi-autobiographical trilogy "Childhood", "Boyhood", and "Youth" published between 1852 to 1856, Count Leo Tolstoy soon became hailed as one of the greatest figures of literary realism for his magnum opus "War and Peace" in 1869, followed by the equally iconic "Anna Karenina" eight years later. A Christian Anarchist and a dedicated advocate of non-violent resistance as reflected in his philosophical treatise "The Kingdom of God Is Within You", Tolstoy's legacy and writings inspired pivotal 20th-century figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi. Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 1901, 1902, and 1910, along with receiving multiple considerations for The Nobel Prize in Literature between the years of 1902 to 1906, here are five of the most profound quotes delivered by the greatest humanitarian, and perhaps the greatest writer of his age:
1. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
Before you can change the world, it starts with changing the people who live in it. To change the way people live, it starts with living differently yourself.
2. "It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness."
All that is good is beautiful, but not all that is beautiful is good.
3. "I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts."
That are many ways to think and believe in love, just like there are many ways to love how one thinks, and believes.
4. "Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them."
Those who love and endure much pain and heartbreak that is bound to occur in its name are those who will be loved. By a love that endures. A love that takes what tears that have been shed, and wipe away what heartbreak and pain that dares stand before our eyes.
5. "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
While happiness is what many, if not all seek, the sorrows we each go through to seek it are varied as they are different. From the number of tears shed, to depths in our hearts for which woes are rooted.
While Tolstoy no longer remains to help us seek that which forever remains elusive, his works, his stories, his books remain. To draw us closer even as we remain far. To love even as our hearts break further. To smile even as much happiness now mingles with grief. Even as the last tear shed falls. Its stain on the ground marking the set of sorrow, and first glimmers of possibility -- for a day made brighter by laughter.