When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.
—George Washington Carver (1864–1943) American Scientist, Botanist, Educator, Inventor
Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
Of all the ways you can think of, none has a sixteenth part of the value of lovingkindness. Lovingkindness is a freedom of the heart which takes in all the ways. It is luminous, shining, blazing forth.
—Thich Nhat Hanh (1926–2022) Vietnamese Buddhist Religious Leader, Teacher, Author, Peace Activist
True happiness consists in making others happy.
I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) French Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician
Civility costs nothing, and buys everything.
—Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689–1762) English Aristocrat, Poet, Novelist, Writer
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because philosophy is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
—John W. Gardner (1912–2002) American Activist
The last, best fruit that comes late to perfection, even in the kindliest soul, is tenderness toward the hard, forbearance toward the unforbearing, warmth of heart toward the cold, and philanthropy toward the misanthropic.
—Jean Paul (1763–1825) German Novelist, Humorist
A second quality of mature spirituality is kindness. It is based on a fundamental notion of self-acceptance….
—Jack Kornfield (b.1945) American Buddhist Teacher
Our friends are generally ready to do everything for us, except the very thing we wish them to do.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
There’s good in everybody. Boost. Don’t knock.
—Warren G. Harding (1865–1923) American Head of State, Businessperson
Handle yourself, use head; Handle others, use heart.
—Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) American First Lady, Diplomat, Humanitarian
And they said one to another, we are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear.
—The Holy Bible Scripture in the Christian Faith
You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.
—Francis Schaeffer (1912–84) American Presbyterian Religious Leader, Theologian, Philosopher
He that has no charity deserves no mercy.
If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
—Earl Wilson (1907–87) American Broadway Gossip Columnist
Welcome is the best cheer.
It is our special duty, that if anyone needs our help, we should give him such help to the utmost of our power.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment.
I as little fear that God will damn a man that has charity as I hope that the priests can save one who has not.
—Alexander Pope (1688–1744) English Poet
Get it into your head once and for all, my simple and very fainthearted fellow, that what fools call humanness is nothing but a weakness born of fear and egoism; that this chimerical virtue, enslaving only weak men, is unknown to those whose character is formed by stoicism, courage, and philosophy.
—Marquis de Sade (1740–1814) French Political leader, Revolutionary, Novelist, Poet, Critic
It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men who has the greatest difficulties in life and provides the greatest injury to others. It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.
—Alfred Adler (1870–1937) Austrian Psychiatrist
So, in the infinitely nobler battle in which you are engaged against error and wrong, if ever repulsed or stricken down, may you always be solaced and cheered by the exulting cry of triumph over some abuse in Church or State, some vice or folly in society, some false opinion or cruelty or guilt which you have overcome! And I beseech you to treasure up in your hearts these my parting words: Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.
—Horace Mann (1796–1859) American Educator, Politician, Educationalist
To a well deserving person God will show favor. To an ill deserving person He will simply be just.
—Plautus (Titus Maccius Plautus) (c.250–184 BCE) Roman Comic Playwright
You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
—John Wooden (1910–2010) American Sportsperson
I know some good marriages—marriages where both people are just trying to get through their days by helping each other, being good to each other.
—Erica Jong (b.1942) American Novelist, Feminist
I soothe my conscience now with the thought that it is better for hard words to be on paper than that Mummy should carry them in her heart.
—Anne Frank (1929–45) Holocaust Victim
How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
In democratic ages men rarely sacrifice themselves for another, but they show a general compassion for all the human race. One never sees them inflict pointless suffering, and they are glad to relieve the sorrows of others when they can do so without much trouble to themselves. They are not disinterested, but they are gentle.
—Alexis de Tocqueville (1805–59) French Historian, Political Scientist