Kindness in ourselves is the honey that blunts the sting of unkindness in another.
—Walter Savage Landor (1775–1864) English Writer, Poet
Giving is the secret of a healthy life. Not necessarily money, but whatever a person has of encouragement, sympathy and understanding.
—John D. Rockefeller, Jr. (1874–1960) American Philanthropist, Businessperson
The smartest thing I ever said was, “Help Me!”
We are cold to others only when we are dull in ourselves.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
Warm weather fosters growth: cold weather destroys it. Thus a man with an unsympathetic temperament has a scant joy: but a man with a warm and friendly heart overflowing blessings, and his beneficence will extend to posterity
—Hong Zicheng (1593–1620) Chinese Philosopher
Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.
—Theodore Isaac Rubin (1923–2019) American Psychiatrist, Author
Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) French Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician
What we think of as our sensitivity is only the higher evolution of terror in a poor dumb beast. We suffer for nothing. Our own death wish is our only real tragedy.
—Mario Puzo (1920–99) Novelist, Screenwriter, Journalist
Unless we give part of ourselves away, unless we can live with other people and understand them and help them, we are missing the most essential part of our own lives.
Let me, tonight look back across the span
Twixt dawn and dark, and to my conscience say-
Because of some good act to beast or human-
The world is better that I lived today.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850–1919) American Poet, Journalist
Is there any one maxim which ought to be acted upon throughout one’s whole life? Surely the maxim of loving kindness is such: Do not unto others what you would not they should do unto you.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
No man is more cheated than the selfish man.
—Henry Ward Beecher (1813–87) American Clergyman, Writer
I know the compassion of others is a relief at first. I don’t despise it. But it can’t quench pain, it slips through your soul as through a sieve. And when our suffering has been dragged from one pity to another, as from one mouth to another, we can no longer respect or love it.
—Georges Bernanos (1888–1948) French Author
I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer not neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heart-felt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) English Poet, Literary Critic, Philosopher
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
Be good, be kind, be humane, and charitable; love your fellows; console the afflicted; pardon those who have done you wrong.
—Zoroaster (c.630–c.553 BCE) Persian Religious Leader, Prophet
We always prefer war on our own terms to peace on someone else’s.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
We hate the kindness which we understand.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
—J. M. Barrie (1860–1937) Scottish Novelist, Dramatist
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Do good by stealth and blush to find fame.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
The time is always right to do what’s right.
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman
Handle yourself, use head; Handle others, use heart.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
—Frederick Buechner (b.1926) American Presbyterian Clergyman, Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist, Theologian
Behold! I do not give lectures on a little charity. When I give, I give myself.
—Walt Whitman (1819–92) American Poet, Essayist, Journalist, American, Poet, Essayist, Journalist
Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances.
—Vincent de Paul (1581–1660) French Catholic Saint
Respect a man, and he will do all the more.
As much as we need a prosperous economy, we also need a prosperity of kindness and decency.
—Caroline Kennedy (b.1957) American Attorney, Diplomat