To be kind is to be considerate, friendly, and compassionate towards others. It can be simply expressing a warm positive attitude, or it can be to share words of encouragement, or it can be to do good deeds without expecting anything in return. Kindness fosters connection and community. Here you’ll find some key quotations about kindness to challenge and inspire you.

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When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people; as I grow older, I admire kind people.

— Abraham Joshua Heschel

The true and noble way to kill a foe, is not to kill him, — you, with kindness, may so change him, that he shall cease to be so, and then he’s slain.

— Alain (Émile-Auguste Chartier)

The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth.

— Albert Einstein

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

— Albert Schweitzer

It is a little embarrassing that, after forty-five years of research and study, the best advice I can give to people is to be a little kinder to each other.

— Aldous Huxley

In faith and hope the world will disagree,
but all mankind’s concern is charity.

— Alexander Pope

Good manners are the technique of expressing considerations for the feelings of others.

— Alice Miller

As I get older, I realize that the thing I value the most is good-heartedness.

— Alice Walker

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

— Amelia Earhart

Kindness has no religion. Religions are like narrow tracks but kindness is like an open sky.

— Amit Ray, The Transforming Power

All intimacy is rare — that’s what makes it precious. And it involves the revelation of one’s self and the loving gaze upon another’s true self (no makeup, no fancy car, no defensive charm, no seduction) — that’s what makes it so damn hard. Intimacy requires honesty and kindness in almost equal measure (a little more kindness, I think), trust and trustworthiness, forgiveness and the capacity to be forgiven . . . It’s more than worth it — just don’t let them tell you it’s bliss.

— Amy Bloom

Kindness can transform someone’s dark moment with a blaze of light. You’ll never know how much your caring matters. Make a difference for another today.

— Amy Leigh Mercree

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.

— Andy Rooney

There is always a way to be honest without being brutal.

— Arthur Dobrin

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.

— Audrey Hepburn

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.

— Barbara De Angelis

We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.

— Benjamin Jowett

A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men.

— Bertrand Russell

Autocrats like fear and panic, and they are weakened by kindness and rationality and reason.

— Bill McKibben

Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.

— Blaise Pascal

In the midst of global crises such as pollution, wars and famine, kindness may be too easily dismissed as a ‘soft’ issue, or a luxury to be addressed after the urgent problems are solved. But kindness is the greatest need in all those areas — kindness toward the environment, toward other nations, toward the needs of people who are suffering. Until we reflect basic kindness in everything we do, our political gestures will be fleeting and fragile.

Simple kindness may be the most vital key to the riddle of how human beings can live with each other in peace, and care properly for this planet we all share.

— Bo Lozoff

In the midst of global crises such as pollution, wars and famine, kindness may be too easily dismissed as a ‘soft’ issue, or a luxury to be addressed after the urgent problems are solved. But kindness is the greatest need in all those areas — kindness toward the environment, toward other nations, toward the needs of people who are suffering. Until we reflect basic kindness in everything we do, our political gestures will be fleeting and fragile.

Simple kindness may be the most vital key to the riddle of how human beings can live with each other in peace, and care properly for this planet we all share.

— Bo Lozoff

It is rather paradoxical for our task-focused self when it isn’t the quality of the practice, but our honest and humble acceptance of the emerging moment, that prepares us for nonjudgemental, agendaless presence with another. Being kind to ourselves can be helpful as we seek to practice this way of being, because it places us at cross-purposes with our culture, where performance and improvement are so valued and the limits and variability of our humanness are cause for criticism and correction.

— Bonnie Badenoch

Gentleness and kindness will make our homes a paradise upon earth.

— C. A. Bartol

Grant me the grace to dissolve my negative thoughts about myself today. I breathe the grace of kindness into my heart. And may the grace of healing flow abundantly to every one in need of help.

— Caroline Myss

When you have nothing to say, say nothing.

— Charles Caleb Colton

The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines.

— Charles Kuralt

Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.

— Confucius

The only justice is to follow the sincere intuition of the soul, angry or gentle. Anger is just, and pity is just, but judgement is never just.

— D. H. Lawrence

“I think it is our nature to believe evil always has an ugly face,” he said, ignoring my question. “Beauty is supposed to be good and kind, and to discover it otherwise is like a betrayal of trust. A violation of the nature of things.”

— Danielle L. Jensen, Stolen Songbird

He who sees a need and waits to be asked for help is as unkind as if he had refused it.

— Dante Alighieri

Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person—having neither to weigh thoughts nor mea­sure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.

— Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

When I lay my head on the pillow at night I can say I was a decent person today. That’s when I feel beautiful.

— Drew Barrymore

The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and wind,
While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

We are told that people stay in love because of chemistry, or because they remain intrigued with each other, because of many kindnesses, because of luck. But part of it has got to be forgiveness and gratefulness.

— Ellen Goodman

It’s unfortunate and I really wish I wouldn’t have to say this, but I really like human beings who have suffered. They’re kinder.

— Emma Thompson

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.

— Eric Hoffer

To stir the masses, to appeal to their higher, better selves, to set them thinking for themselves, and to hold ever before them the ideal of mutual kindness and good will, based upon mutual interests, is to render real service to the cause of humanity.

— Eugene V. Debs

If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other lands, but a continent that joins to them.

— Francis Bacon

It is very hard to distinguish universal all-embracing kindness from immense cleverness.

— François de La Rochefoucauld

The first impulse of joy that we have when our friends are fortunate, comes neither from the kindness of our nature nor from the friendship we feel for them. It is a product of self-love, which flatters us with the hope that we in turn may be fortunate too, or that we may derive something useful from their good fortune.

— François de La Rochefoucauld

Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence or learning.

— Frederick W. Faber

What do you regard as most humane? To spare someone shame.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

There is a rollicking kindness that looks like malice.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

It is good to be helpful and kindly, but don’t give yourself to be melted into candle grease for the benefit of the tallow trade.

— George Eliot

Be courteous to all but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.

— George Washington

Even after all this time,
The sun never says to the earth,
‘You owe me.’
Look what happens with
A love like that.
It lights the whole sky.

— Hafiz of Persia

When you carry out acts of kindness you get a wonderful feeling inside. It is as though something inside your body responds and says, yes, this is how I ought to feel.

— Harold Kushner

The truth is the kindest thing we can give folks in the end.

— Harriet Beecher Stowe

Life is short and we have never too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark journey with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.

— Henri Frédéric Amiel

The only way to tell the truth is to speak with kindness. Only the words of a loving man can be heard.

— Henry David Thoreau

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. The third is to be kind.

— Henry James

To be hopeful in bad times is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.

— Howard Zinn

Gentleness, which belongs to virtue, is to be carefully distinguished from the mean spirit of cowards and the fawning assent of sycophants.

— Hugh Blair

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.

— James M. Barrie

It is no longer appropriate to think only in terms of even my nation or my country, let alone my village. If we are to overcome the problems we face, we need what I have called a sense of universal responsibility rooted in love and kindness for our human brothers and sisters. In our present state of affairs, the very survival of humankind depends on people developing concern for the whole of humanity, not just their own community or nation. The reality of our situation impels us to act and think more clearly. Narrow-mindedness and self-centered thinking may have served us well in the past, but today will only lead to disaster. We can overcome such attitudes through the combination of education and training.

— Joanna Macy

One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture and, if possible, speak a few reasonable words.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Kind hearts are the garden, kind thoughts are the roots, kind words are the blossoms, kind deeds are the fruit.

— John Ruskin
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