February 8 ~  Three Principles I And Thou

"There are three principles in a man's being and life, the principle of thought, the principle of speech, and the principle of action. The origin of all conflict between me and my fellow-men is that I do not say what I mean and I don't do what I say." ~ Martin Buber

Martin Buber

An advocate of education, philosopher Martin Mordechai Buber (1878-1965) was born on this day into a Jewish family in Vienna, Austria.

He is best known for reviving Hasidism with writings that passionately celebrated community and life. He once said: "All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware."

A deep thinker, Buber was inspired by the Bible, Immanuel Kant, and Friedrich Nietzsche. "Solitude is the place of purification," he said and established the Jewish National Commission during World War I to help Eastern European Jews.

His I And Thou (1923) focused on human relationships with each other, with God, and with the world. Through observation and examination, humans can determine I-It and I-Thou relationships to connect with each other and establish true intimacy. "All real living is meeting," he said.

In what he called "Germanification," he also translated the Hebrew Bible into German. In 1938, he fleed Nazi Germany and settled in Jerusalem where he taught at the Hebrew University. He dedicated the final years of his life to the community's political, educational, and spiritual renewal.

"The world is not comprehensible, but it is embraceable: through the embracing of one of its beings," he said.

Say What you mean. Learn to understand.