“If life is not a celebration, why remember it? If life ― mine or that of my fellow man ― is not an offering to the other, what are we doing on this earth?”
Those are lines that the late Elie Wiesel wrote in his introspective book, Open Heart. Upon that book’s release, the author, activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor joined Oprah for a 2012 appearance on OWN’s “SuperSoul Sunday,” where he elaborated on the idea of humanity’s purpose. As he said back then, life came down to one thing: creating a world filled not just with love, but with friendship.
“Perhaps we could live for a while without love,” Wiesel said during that interview. “But not without friendship... Love is demanding, in the best sense of the word. Friendship is not.”
Oprah then asked Wiesel what he most wanted the world to know, and in his answer was an incredibly powerful and poignant message.
“If there is one person on the planet who still is suffering from loneliness or from pain or despair, and we don’t know about it or we don’t want to know about it, then something is wrong with the world,” he said.
Offering up friendship and compassion, Wiesel continued, is how everything can change.
“I cannot cure everybody. I cannot help everybody,” he said. “But to tell the lonely person that I am not far or different from that lonely person, that I am with him or her, that’s all I think we can do. That we should do.”
Another beautiful belief from Wiesel: