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February 2012

Compiled by Sandy Plone, Ph.D.

We all know how it feels to be vulnerable, and both the famous and the infamous have been writing about this for centuries. Here are a few of the most well-known quotes on the subject:


“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is not safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” ~ Helen Keller

“We all need somebody to talk to. It would be good if we talked…not just pitter-patter, but real talk. We shouldn’t be so afraid, because people really like this contact; that you show you are vulnerable makes them free to be vulnerable.” ~ Liv Ullmann

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community”. ~ M. Scott Peck

“Love is not love until love’s vulnerable.”~ Theodore Roethke

“We’re never so vulnerable than when we trust someone- but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.” ~ Walter Anderson

“Where we have strong emotions, we’re liable to fool ourselves.” ~ Carl Sagan

“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability…to be alive is to be vulnerable.” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

To love is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe…it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable (and) impenetrable.”~ C.S. Lewis

“With each passage of human growth we must shed a protective structure (like a hardy crustacean). We are left exposed and vulnerable- but also yeasty and embryonic again, capable of stretching in ways we hadn’t known before.” ~ Gail Sheehy

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