Yet this hidden life of love is knowable by its fruits—yes, there is a need in love to be recognisable by its fruits. How beautiful it is—that what betokens the deepest poverty likewise signifies the greatest riches! Need, to have need, and to be needy—how reluctantly a man wishes this to be said of him! And yet we pay the highest compliment when we say of a poet—”It is a need for him to write,” of an orator—”It is a need for him to speak,” of a girl—”It is a need for her to love.” Alas, even the most needy person who has ever lived—if he still has had love—how rich his life has been in comparison with him, the only really poor person, who lived out his life and never felt the need of anything! It is a girl’s greatest riches that she needs the beloved. It is the religious man’s highest and true wealth that he needs God. Ask them—ask the girl if she could be just as happy if she could dispense with her beloved; ask the religious man if he understands or desires that he could just as well dispense with God!

— Søren Kierkegaard, from his book Works of Love


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