You’re passing a homeless person; they look haggard and hungry and tired; you are doing okay in life. What do you do – pass by without making eye contact, make eye contact and keep walking, or stop and give some time or money? Enter altruism quotes! These brief little nuggets of wisdom can facilitate reaching down and pulling out some love, compassion, care, and magnanimity. Sure, one doesn’t want to be a “sucker” and get pulled in by all kinds of money-making schemes, but erring on the side of charitableness and concern for one’s fellow human being is almost never “foolish.” In other cases, altruism quotes would urge one to stop the car when you see a person in distress, trying to get that dog picked up off the streets, or even wading in a flood to help a stranded individual. We don’t all have to be heroes like firefighters, soldiers, or (at times) police officers, but we still can do the right thing. In fact, Americans are relatively helpful and generous as a culture – even under all the economic stress and the unhelpful individualism that marks this society.
Altruism is a tad complicated. Like for example, Why do we do things that help others if there is some cost (e.g., time, energy, money, safety, reproductive potential) to ourselves? The motivation is a deep and scientifically-debated issue. How does it differ from kindness, from compassion, from mere charity? Regardless of the nuances, it’s not like we need to figure all the angles and nuances out before we “get in the game” and do something really special on behalf of another human being (or other animal). At the end of the day, a life well-lived will certainly involve acts of kindness and compassion.
Whether we are believers in God or self-confident skeptics, altruism quotes can help us to live a life that we can be proud of when the day is done. What little bit I can do to further your personal growth and spiritual development is to show you the well over 1,000 altruism quotes and quotations about kindness, compassion, love, and charity I have collected over the years. Here are but a dozen altruism quotes to inspire, excite, and empower! I welcome you to look up your own quotes in the massive database of quotations, proverbs, song lyrics, and poetry that I call The Wisdom Archive.
Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another’s pain, life is not in vain. ~ Helen Keller
A noble character acquires happiness through the opportunity of making someone else happy. It is only that kind of kindness that will lead to happiness. ~ David Miller
Don’t complain about what you don’t have. Use what you’ve got. To do less than your best is a sin. Every single one of us has the power for greatness, because greatness is determined by service – to yourself and to others. ~ Oprah Winfrey
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you want to make a stand, help others make a stand, and if you want to reach your goal, help others reach their goal. Consider yourself and treat others accordingly: this is the method of humanity. ~ Confucius
There is no greater satisfaction for a just and well-meaning person than the knowledge that he has devoted his best energies to the service of the good cause. ~ Albert Einstein
Giving a kidney is the coolest thing I’ve ever done and if I had a spare, I’d do it again. ~ Christine Karg-Palreiro
No person has ever been honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave. ~ Calvin Coolidge
Charity literally translated from the original means love, the love that understands, that does not merely share the wealth of the giver, but in true sympathy and wisdom helps men to help themselves. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
The best way to cheer yourself up is to cheer someone else up. ~ Mark Twain
The habit of giving only enhances the desire to give. ~ Walt Whitman
‘Tis not enough to help the feeble up, but to support them after. ~ William Shakespeare
One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world. ~ Ann Radcliffe