IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

52 kindness quotes to help make the world a better place

Desmond Tutu, Cheryl Strayed and other icons share the power of grace and good will.

Life can be a tricky, challenging journey. One of the many things that makes it worthwhile is the kindness of others — and showing that same kindness and compassion to yourself. There’s a reason you’ll never run short of quotes about kindness: Everyone from Princess Diana to J.R.R. Tolkien has expressed awe at its power. 

There’s one Princess Diana quote about kindness, in particular, that does a wonderful job of highlighting the importance of being kind and the way that act will find you: “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”

Kindness can break down barriers, change a person’s entire mood, and create an everlasting bond. It’s one of the most important ways you can show someone you care, that their existence matters to you. As former first lady Michelle Obama wrote in her memoir “Becoming,” women’s friendships are “built of a thousand small kindnesses.”

Quotes about kindness are a great way to show yourself, the people in your life and truly all human beings that it’s a remarkable, necessary expression. Here are some of the most powerful kindness quotes to get you started.

Our very favorite kindness quotes

  • “A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.” — Joseph Joubert
  • “Compassion isn’t about solutions. It’s about giving all the love that you’ve got.” — Cheryl Strayed
  • “Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” — Princess Diana
  • “Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” — Scott Adams
  • “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” — Edith Wharton
  • “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.” — William Arthur Ward
  • “Kindness is stronger than iron bars.” ― Margaret George, “Mary Queen of Scotland and The Isles”
  • “Friendships between women, as any woman will tell you, are built of a thousand small kindnesses...swapped back and forth and over again.” ― Michelle Obama, “Becoming”
  • “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” ― Kahlil Gibran, “The Essential Kahlil Gibran: Aphorisms And Maxims”
  • “Every small, unselfish action nudges the world into a better path. An accumulation of small acts can change the world.” ― Robin Hobb, “Fool’s Fate”
  • “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” — Sir Winston Churchill
  • “Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.” ― Roy T. Bennett, “The Light in the Heart”
  • “Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.” ― Jack Kerouac, “The Portable Jack Kerouac”
  • “There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people.” — Vincent Van Gogh
  • “The best portion of a good man’s life is his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.” — William Wordsworth
  • “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu
  • In the face of isolationism, protectionism, racism — the simple concept of looking outwardly and beyond ourselves, of kindness and collectivism, might just be as good a starting point as any.” — Jacinda Ardern
  • “Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused.” — Tommy Lee Jones
  • “We’re here for a reason. I believe a bit of the reason is to throw little torches out to lead people through the dark.” — Whoopi Goldberg
  • “Go to where you are kindest.” ― Jaron Lanier, “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now”
  • “Always be a little kinder than necessary.” — James M. Barrie
  • “But remember, boy, that a kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword.” ― Rick Riordan, “The Battle of the Labyrinth”
  • “I have found that it is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, “The Hobbit”
  • “Evil begins when you begin to treat people as things.” ― Terry Pratchett, “I Shall Wear Midnight”
  • “Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” ― Eric Hoffer
  • “I think probably kindness is my number one attribute in a human being. I’ll put it before any of the things like courage or bravery or generosity or anything else.” — Roald Dahl
  • “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
  • “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.” ― Wendy Mass, “The Candymakers”
  • “I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” — Pablo Casais
  • “Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.” — George Sand
  • “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ― Nelson Mandela, “Long Walk to Freedom”
  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead
  • “You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • “It seems to me that no matter what religion you subscribe to, acts of kindness are the stepping stones to making the world a better place — because we become better people in it.” — Jodi Picoult, “Change of Heart”
  • “To extend yourself in kindness to anybody is an extension in kindness in the world.” — Oprah Winfrey
  •  “Kindness makes a fellow feel good whether it’s being done to him or by him.” — Frank A. Clark
  • “It is never too late to be kind, polite, and a loving human being.” ― Eddie Jaku, “The Happiest Man on Earth”
  • “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • “People shouldn’t have to earn kindness. They should have to earn cruelty.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, “Forever”
  • “In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” ― Clare Pooley, “The Authenticity Project”
  • “The true greatness of a person, in my view, is evident in the way he or she treats those with whom courtesy and kindness are not required.” — Joseph B. Wirthlin
  • “Be a little kinder than you have to.” ― E. Lockhart, “We Were Liars”
  • “Sometimes it’s easy to lose faith in people. And sometimes one act of kindness is all it takes to give you hope again.” ― Randa Abdel-Fattah, “Does My Head Look Big In This?”
  • “A memorable heart is the easiest way to immortality.” ― Suzy Kassem, “Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem”
  • “I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.” — Lady Gaga
  • “A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.” — Steve Maraboli
  • “I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” — Stephen Grellet
  • “I believe now that the universe delivers random acts of kindness, and it’s on us to decide what to do with them.” ― Christina Lauren, “In a Holidaze”
  • “Sometimes those who give the most are the ones with the least to spare.” ― Mike McIntyre, “The Kindness of Strangers”
  • “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” — Maya Angelou
  • “Although people can be cruel sometimes, kindness always wins. Enmity breaks hearts apart, but love assembles the pieces.” ― Anoir Ou-chad, “The Alien”
  • “Kindness is its own type of magic, don’t you think?” ― Alyssa Colman, “The Gilded Girl”