I could say a few things about kindness, or I could let others say it for me. Truth be told, there are so many kind people who have come and gone, many of them leaving behind great words of wisdom about kindness.
Here are seven of my favorite quotes on kindness:
1. “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.”
Just imagine how people would treat you if they thought you had less than 24 hours to live. You would probably feel like a prince (or princess). Every encounter you had just might make you wish you had so much more time to spend with other humans. It would change the world.
2. “Kindness is the sunshine in which virtue grows.”
—Robert Green Ingersoll
Just think of how many virtues you wish you could practice, but don’t have the motivation to. Has the reason ever been that you didn’t feel other people deserving of receiving the gift of your virtue? Maybe none of your virtues will shine without some kindness to warm them up and help them sprout.
3. “A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”
John Ruskin was a man who could do just about anything, from painting to biology to politics. In all the facets of humanity he saw, one truth that stood out to him was that kindness is worth more than money.
4. “True beauty is born through our actions and aspirations, and in the kindness we offer to others.”
These words come from a Sudanese model and fashion designer. She made her career in the industry of beauty but changed that industry by challenging our conceptions of beauty. She escaped horrible conditions when she fled Sudan. As beautiful as she is, she knows that kindness is even more beautiful than a person’s face, or body, or clothes.
5. “I simply do not think that yelling, swearing, threatening or belittling will get you to the place you want to be faster than kindness, understanding, patience and a little willingness to compromise.”
Even when you don’t feel like being kind, you may find it is at least advantageous to your success. And if that works out for you, maybe kindness will come a little easier. You have to start somewhere.
6. “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”—
—Ralph Waldo Emerson
Always full of transcendent wit, Emerson believed in speaking your mind in the present, as well as doing the right thing. Kindness should never wait. Person to person, express kindness now before it is too late.
7. “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”
—Lucius Annaeus Seneca
That is quite a positive attitude for someone who may or may not have attempted to assassinate Nero. Of course, he wasn’t admitting that people were kind, just that they could be. Even a careful stoic could agree that there is potential for kindness in all people, even crazy tyrants.
These and other maxims have stood the test of time. So has the value of kindness. Even more important than great words on the subject is the subject itself. So live by these words, and don’t just repeat them.
So here is one final quote for you. It goes like this:
Yes, that’s right. It’s time you wrote your own quote about kindness. Share it on our blog. Put it on a T-Shirt. Post it on your social media. Carve it into a piece of wood and hang it on your kitchen wall. But whatever you do, mean it, and then live by it. Come up with your own kindness credo, and maybe spreading those words will help spread kindness itself.
Next time you leave a kindness card, leave one of these inspiring quotes along with it.