What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
The most important of my discoveries have been suggested to me by my failures.
—Humphry Davy (1778–1829) British Chemist, Inventor
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.
Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people brings happiness.
—Harold Kushner (b.1935) American Jewish Religious Leader, Priest
The superior man is the providence of the inferior. He is eyes for the blind, strength for the weak, and a shield for the defenseless. He stands erect by bending above the fallen. He rises by lifting others.
—Robert G. Ingersoll (1833–99) American Lawyer, Orator, Agnostic
There is no power on earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.
—Booker T. Washington (1856–1915) African-American Educationist
If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap. If you want happiness for a day — go fishing. If you want happiness for a month — get married. If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.
The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. It is obvious that man is himself a traveler; that the purpose of the world is not.
—Wilfred Grenfell (1865–1940) Canadian Humanitarian, Doctor
The habit of being uniformly considerate toward others will bring increased happiness to you.
—Grenville Kleiser (1868–1935) Canadian Author
Combinations of wickedness would overwhelm the world, by the advantage which licentious principles afford, did not those who have long practised perfidy grow faithless to each other.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
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 Antislavery Journalist
Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?”
—Brian Tracy (b.1944) American Author, Motivational Speaker
If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day.
If you teach a man how to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.
—Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie (1837–1919) English Novelist, Biographer
A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
—John Wesley (1703–91) British Methodist Religious Leader, Preacher, Theologian
Pleasure is a reciprocal; no one feels it who does not at the same time give it. To be pleased, one must please.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
Look up and not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a hand!
—Edward Everett Hale (1822–1909) American Unitarian Clergyman
When you give of your possessions, you give but little; it is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
—Khalil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
Service can have no meaning unless one takes pleasure in it. When it is done for show or for fear of public opinion it stunts the man and crushes his spirit. Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
—Abraham Lincoln (1809–65) American Head of State
The most satisfying thing in life is to have been able to give a large part of oneself to others.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) French Jesuit Philosopher, Paleontologist
Instinct teaches us to look for happiness outside ourselves.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
Use power to help people. For we are given power not to advance our own purposes nor to make a great show in the world, nor a name. There is but one just use of power and it is to serve people.
—George H. W. Bush (1924–2018) American Republican Statesman, 41st President
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
—Emily Dickinson (1830–86) American Poet
One of things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people.
Do not free a camel of the burden of his hump; you may be freeing him from being a camel.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
If you want to be important – that’s wonderful. If you want to be great – that’s wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s your new definition of greatness – it means that everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don’t have to know the second law of thermodynamics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love…
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–68) American Civil Rights Leader, Clergyman