When a person is down in the world, an ounce of help is better than a pound of preaching.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73) British Novelist, Poet, Politician
A service of worship is primarily a service to God. When we realize this and act upon it, we make it a service to men.
—Ralph Washington Sockman (1889–1970) American United Methodist Pastor
Charity looks at the need, not at the cause.
The more a man takes the needs of others on his own heart, the more he must take his own heart to God.
Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise.
Rings and jewels are not gifts, but apologies for gifts. The only gift is a portion of thyself.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind.
—Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973) American Novelist, Human Rights Activist
The truest help we can render an afflicted man is not to take his burden from him, but to call out his best energy, that he may be able to bear the burden.
—Phillips Brooks (1835–93) American Episcopal Clergyman, Author
We shall serve for the joy of serving, prosperity shall flow to us and through us in unending streams of plenty.
—Charles Fillmore (1854–1948) American New Thought Mystic
Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
It is one of the beautiful compensations of life that no man can sincerely try to help another, without helping himself.
—Gamaliel Bailey (1807–59) American Journalist
As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don’t have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn’t matter as much as how you do what you do.
—Elisabeth Kubler-Ross (1926-2004) American Psychiatrist
Man absolutely cannot live by himself.
—Erich Fromm (1900–80) German-American Psychoanalyst, Social Philosopher
God likes help when helping people.
I wonder why it is that we are not all kinder to each other… How much the world needs it! How easily it is done.
He who does not live in some degree for others, hardly lives for himself.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist
I am all about caring. I have always been like that.
—Diana, Princess of Wales (1961–97) English Royal, Humanitarian, Peace Activist
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.
Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
Isn’t it better to have men be ungrateful than to miss a chance to do good?
—Denis Diderot (1713–84) French Philosopher, Writer
The cook was a good cook, as cooks go; and as cooks go, she went.
—Saki (Hector Hugh Munro) (1870–1916) British Short Story Writer, Satirist, Historian
Doing good is the only certainly happy action of a man’s life.
—Philip Sidney (1554–86) English Soldier Poet, Courtier
No enterprise can exist for itself alone. It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist.
—Calvin Coolidge (1872–1933) American Head of State, Lawyer
There ain’t nothing but one thing wrong with every one of us, and that’s selfishness.
—Will Rogers (1879–1935) American Actor, Rancher, Humorist
You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement and, at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.
—Marie Curie (1867–1934) Polish-born French Physicist, Chemist
The smartest thing I ever said was, “Help Me!”
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
—Mother Teresa (1910–97) Roman Catholic Missionary, Nun
In this world we must help one another.
—Jean de La Fontaine (1621–95) French Poet, Short Story Writer
When you give of your possessions, you give but little; it is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
Two thirds of help is to give courage.
If you want to feel connected to your own purpose, know this for certain: Your purpose will only be found in service to others, and in being connected to the something far greater than your mind/body/ego.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
We live very close together. So, our prime purpose in life is to help others. And if we can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.
—The 14th Dalai Lama (b.1935) Tibetan Buddhist Religious Leader, Civil Rights Leader, Philosopher, Author
Do things for others and you’ll find your self-consciousness evaporating like morning dew.
—Dale Carnegie (1888–1955) American Self-Help Author
Be unselfish. That is the first and final commandment for those who would be useful and happy in their usefulness. If you think of yourself only, you cannot develop because you are choking the source of development, which is spiritual expansion through thought for others.
—Charles William Eliot (1834–1926) American Educationalist
The only certain means of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.
—Og Mandino (1923–96) American Self-Help Author
To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is perhaps the greatest service that one man can do another.
—Benjamin Jowett (1817–93) British Theologian, Translator
Kindness causes us to learn, and to forget, many things.
—Sophie Swetchine (1782–1857) Russian Mystic, Writer
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
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first … when you learn to live for others, they will live for you.
—Paramahansa Yogananda (1893–1952) Indian Hindu Mystic, Religious Leader, Philosopher, Teacher
The future lies with those wise political leaders
who realize that the great public is interested more
in government than in politics.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
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
You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness.
The human being who lives only for himself finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies. Don’t put off the joy derivable from doing helpful, kindly things for others.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
—Thomas Merton (1915–68) American Trappist Monk
The mortal sickness of a mind too unhappy to be kind.
—A. E. Housman (1859–1936) English Poet, Classical Scholar
What madness it is for a man to starve himself to enrich his heir, and so turn a friend into an enemy! For his joy at your death will be proportioned to what you leave him.
—Seneca the Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (c.4 BCE–65 CE) Roman Stoic Philosopher, Statesman, Tragedian
For my own part, I had rather suffer any inconvenience from having to work occasionally in chambers and kitchen … than witness the subservience in which the menial class is held in Europe.
—Harriet Martineau (1802–76) English Sociologist, Economist, Essayist, Philosopher
Government includes the art of formulating a policy, and using the political technique to attain so much of that policy as will receive general support; persuading, leading, sacrificing, teaching always, because the greatest duty of any statesman is to educate.
—Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882–1945) American Head of State, Lawyer
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
—Theodor Seuss Geisel (‘Dr. Seuss’) (1904–91) American Children’s Books Writer, Writer, Cartoonist, Animator
The general who advances without coveting fame and retreats without fearing disgrace, whose only thought is to protect his country and do good service for his sovereign, is the jewel of the kingdom.
—Sun Tzu (fl. c.544–496 BCE) Chinese General, Military Theorist