Kindness is a selfless action practiced and valued by people around the world. And Jesus provided a superlative example of love and kindness with his life and sacrifice on the cross.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
— John 3:16, NIV

Love and kindness are fundamental characteristics of God and are “fruit” reflected in a life surrendered to God.

The Apostle Paul calls us to be kind to each other — to serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13) and to do good to all people (Galatians 6:10). This sentiment is echoed by a wide range of people with a wide range of perspectives.

The following kindness quotes from philosophers, authors, religious leaders and more emphasize the value and power of kindness in our lives. They exist as motivational quotes for cultivating a kind heart and living from a posture of kindness. They can also serve as inspirational quotes to prompt people to act with compassion and mercy on behalf of the poor.

Quotes About the Power of Kindness

“Kindness is the only service that will stand the storm of life and not wash out. It will wear well and will be remembered long after the prism of politeness or the complexion of courtesy has faded away.” — Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President

“Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet

“Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.” — Albert Schweitzer, theologian

“The best portion of a good man's life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” — William Wordsworth, English Romantic poet

“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.” — Kahlil Gibran, writer, poet and visual artist

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” — Mother Teresa, Roman Catholic nun

“Kindness begets kindness evermore.” — Sophocles, ancient Greek tragedian

Quotes to Inspire Kindness Toward Yourself and Others

“A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” — William Arthur Ward, motivational writer

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Christian Nestell Bovee, writer

“Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.” — Blaise Pascal, French mathematician

“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.” — John Ruskin, English writer

“A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.” — Joseph Joubert, French moralist and essayist

“The words of kindness are more healing to a drooping heart than balm or honey.” — Sarah Fielding, English author

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” — Jesse Jackson, American minister

“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, English writer

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." — Franklin D Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” — Plato, Greek philosopher

“Give yourself some kindness today until you’re filled and pass it on.” — Lori Hill, writer and actress

“We rise by lifting others.” — Robert Ingersoll, American lawyer

“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it!” — George Elliston, American journalist

The Character of Kindness Quotes

“Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden, And keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine, Kind words, and Kind deeds.” — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet

“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.” — Saint Basil, theologian

Quotes That Will Help You Teach Kids About Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop, ancient Greek storyteller

“Never get tired of doing little things for others. Sometimes, those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.” — Anonymous

“A great man shows his greatness by the way he treats little men.” ― Thomas Carlyle, Scottish essayist

To help you teach your children about kindness, take a look at our list of 21 kindness ideas and activities for any age, from preschoolers to teenagers.

Acts of Kindness Quotes

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” — Jackie Chan, actor

“How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.” — Morgan Freeman, actor

Philosophical Quotes About Kindness

“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” — Publilius Syrus, Latin writer

“What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher

“It is the characteristic of the magnanimous man to ask no favor but to be ready to do kindness to others.” — Aristotle, Greek philosopher

“Whenever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” — Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Roman Stoic philosopher

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.” — Theodore Isaac Rubin, psychiatrist and author

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson, essayist

“Act with kindness, but do not expect gratitude.” — Confucius, ancient Chinese philosopher

“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” — Henry James, author

“Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?” — J.M. Barrie, Scottish novelist and playwright

“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd U.S. President

“(It is the way of the Tao) . . . to recompense injury with kindness.” — Lao Tzu, ancient Chinese philosopher

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