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Quotations about Kindness

Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
If you haven't any charity in your heart, you have the worst kind of heart trouble.
~Bob Hope
Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.
~Jesse Jackson
A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.
~Charles H. Spurgeon
It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.
~Author Unknown
Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.
~Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are.
~Author Unknown
What this world needs is a new kind of army - the army of the kind.
~Cleveland Amory
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
~Dalai Lama
During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz. I breezed through the questions until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" Surely this was a joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade. "Absolutely," the professor said. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello." I've never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.
~Joann C. Jones
I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble.
~Rudyard Kipling
Don't be yourself - be someone a little nicer.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
There is no greater loan than a sympathetic ear.
~Frank Tyger
Never miss an opportunity to make others happy, even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it.
~Author Unknown
A fellow who does things that count, doesn't usually stop to count them.
~Variation of a saying by Albert Einstein
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
~Mark Twain
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.
A kind word is like a Spring day.
~Russian Proverb
Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.
~Samuel Johnson
There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life - reciprocity.
Don't wait for people to be friendly, show them how.
~Author Unknown
The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway.
~Henry Boye
When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.
~Abraham Joshua Heschel
If we should deal out justice only, in this world, who would escape? No, it is better to be generous, and in the end more profitable, for it gains gratitude for us, and love.
~Mark Twain
Life is mostly froth and bubble,
Two things stand like stone,
Kindness in another's trouble,
Courage in your own.

~Adam Lindsay Gordon
How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.
~George Washington Carver
You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
~John Wooden
Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.
~Author Unknown
If those who owe us nothing gave us nothing, how poor we would be.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
The best portion of a good man's life - his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.
~William Wordsworth
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.
~Winston Churchill
Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.
~Frank A. Clark
The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid.
~Author Unknown
The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.
~Charles Kuralt, On the Road With Charles Kuralt
Love thy neighbor, and if it requires that you bend your understanding of the truth, the Truth will understand.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
One can pay back the loan of gold, but one dies forever in debt to those who are kind.
~Malayan Proverb
Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree.
~Marian Wright Edelman
Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
~Leo Buscaglia
Be pitiful, for every man is fighting a hard battle.
~John Watson, 1897, commonly attributed to Plato as "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Thanks, Garson O'Toole!)
This man beside us also has a hard fight with an unfavouring world, with strong temptations, with doubts and fears, with wounds of the past which have skinned over, but which smart when they are touched. It is a fact, however surprising. And when this occurs to us we are moved to deal kindly with him, to bid him be of good cheer, to let him understand that we are also fighting a battle; we are bound not to irritate him, nor press hardly upon him nor help his lower self.
~John Watson, 1903
A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.
~Chinese Proverb
There is no effect more disproportionate to its cause than the happiness bestowed by a small compliment.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
As the bus slowed down at the crowded bus stop, the Pakistani bus conductor leaned from the platform and called out, "Six only!" The bus stopped. He counted on six passengers, rang the bell, and then, as the bus moved off, called to those left behind: "So sorry, plenty of room in my heart - but the bus is full." He left behind a row of smiling faces. It's not what you do, it's the way that you do it.
~The Friendship Book of Francis Gay, 1977
We always prefer war on our own terms to peace on someone else's.
~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966
Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
'Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another's tears,
'Til in Heaven the deed appears -
Pass it on.

~Henry Burton, Pass It On
Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances.
~Saint Vincent de Paul
Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.
~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Be thoughtful of others and you will not be shy, for they are incompatible addictions.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
The best way to knock the chip off your neighbor's shoulder is to pat him on the back.
~Author Unknown
Open your heart - open it wide; someone is standing outside.
~Quoted in Believe: A Christmas Treasury by Mary Engelbreit
Because that's what kindness is. It's not doing something for someone else because they can't, but because you can.
~Andrew Iskander
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
~Og Mandino
If every man's internal care
Were written on his brow,
How many would our pity share
Who raise our envy now?

~Peitro Metastasio
Kindness is the greatest wisdom.
~Author Unknown
A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"
If thou are a master, be sometimes blind; if a servant, sometimes deaf.
~Thomas Fuller
Do good by stealth, and blush to find it fame.
~Alexander Pope, Epilogue to the Satires, 1738
Life is short but there is always time for courtesy.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, Social Aims
The best practical advice I can give to the present generation is to practice the virtue which the Christians call love.
~Bertrand Russell
If we cannot be clever, we can always be kind.
~Alfred Fripp
To give and then not feel that one has given is the very best of all ways of giving.
~Max Beerbohm
One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.
~Booker T. Washington
The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.
~John E. Southard
Getting money is not all a man's business: to cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life.
~Samuel Johnson
The first and highest law must be the love of man to man. Homo homini Deus est - this is the supreme practical maxim, this is the turning point of the world's History.
~Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity
Love someone who doesn't deserve it.
~Author Unknown
The more sympathy you give, the less you need.
~Malcolm S. Forbes
Always carry with you a little reasonable doubt, should you meet someone who needs to be found innocent.
~Robert Brault, www.robertbrault.com
It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.
There are no traffic jams when you go the extra mile.
~Attributed to both Zig Ziglar and Dr. Kenneth McFarland
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
~Nelson Henderson
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
~H.L. Mencken
To err on the side of kindness is seldom an error.
~Liz Armbruster, on www.robertbrault.com
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
~James Matthew Barrie
In about the same degree as you are helpful, you will be happy.
~Karl Reiland
How far that little candle throws his beams!So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
~William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice, much later adapted to "So shines a good deed in a weary world" by David Seltzer for the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Thanks Aidan!)
I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.
~William Penn
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.
~Benjamin Disraeli
How beautiful a day can be
When kindness touches it!

~George Elliston
Sometimes someone says something really small, and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart.
~From the television show My So-Called Life
Something that has always puzzled me all my life is why, when I am in special need of help, the good deed is usually done by somebody on whom I have no claim.
~William Feather
Real charity doesn't care if it's tax-deductible or not.
~Dan Bennett
When your suffering is a little greater than my suffering I feel that I am a little cruel.
~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin
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, The Diary of a Young Girl
Always be a little kinder than necessary.
~James M. Barrie
If you step on people in this life, you're going to come back as a cockroach.
~Willie Davis