24 Quotes on Practicing Compassion


The words “sympathy,” “empathy,” and “compassion” are often used interchangeably, but each has a distinct meaning. Sympathy is feeling sorry that someone is going through a hard time, or sending a card to show them they’re in our thoughts. Empathy takes us a step closer to our fellow humans by allowing us to understand and share in their emotions: to flinch at a skinned knee or sniffle at a sentimental commercial. Compassion, meanwhile, is that sense of shared experience coupled with the desire to do something to help alleviate the pain. Compassion doesn’t just flinch at a child’s skinned knee; it rushes to find a SpongeBob Squarepants Band-Aid.

Taking action to help others is the heart of compassion, and if you keep an eye out, you’ll find plenty of ways to offer kindness to those around you. Hold the door for someone. Surrender the last jar of pickles at the grocery store. Lend an ear to someone who needs to talk. These discrete acts of kindness can change a person’s whole day — which can, in turn, inspire them to be a little kinder to those around them. Compassion not only makes us happier as individuals, but also has a tendency to get passed along, making the world just a little bit brighter for all of us who live here.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
— Dalai Lama

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

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
— Maya Angelou

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
— Lao Tzu

Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves.
— Pema Chödrön

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.
— Albert Einstein

I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.
— Lady Gaga

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.
— Jack Kerouac

All I’m saying is, kindness don’t have no boundaries.
― Kathryn Stockett, author of “The Help”

A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.
— William John Bennett

I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.
― Mother Teresa

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

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.
― Mahatma Gandhi

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

Compassion is about giving all the love that you’ve got.
— Cheryl Strayed

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.
— Desmond Tutu

Kindness is the light that dissolves all walls between souls, families, and nations.
— Paramahansa Yogananda, Hindu monk

Kindness, I’ve discovered, is everything in life.
― Isaac Bashevis Singer, writer and Nobel laureate

If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.
— Dolly Parton

In compassion, when we feel with the other, we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and we put another person there.
— Karen Armstrong, author

Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle.
— Charles Glassman, author

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

The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.
— Richard Feynman, physicist

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

Photo credit: Isaac Lind/ Unsplash

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