We have collected and put the best Altruism Quotes. Enjoy reading these insights and feel free to share this page on your social media to inspire others.
May these Altruism Quotes on many subjects inspire you to never give up and keep working towards your goals. Who knows—success could be just around the corner.
Altruism consists of sacrificing something for someone other than the self (e.g. sacrificing time, energy or possessions) with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct, or indirect (for instance from recognition of the giving).
See also: Generosity, Charity as a Virtue, Charity and Charities, Altruism, Generosity Quotes, Charity Quotes, and Benevolence Quotes
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We can learn a lot from a tree; she
gives so much without expecting
anything in return. oxygen, shade,
fruit, resources. she is proud of her
roots and tough to tear down.
try to be more like a tree.
Give without expectations, be
proud, be strong. – JaTawny Muckelvene Chatmon
Altruism by any other name is still altruism, fueled by many different motivations. – Andrew E. Kaufman
Altruism is a remorse of selfishness. – Roberto Gervaso
Altruism is the root of all Wickedness – Andrew Ryan
Altruism is written in everlasting and resplendent character on the Cross of Christ, and it was at Calvary that the centre of life was shifted from selfishness to sacrifice. – Jon Weber
Altruism, compassion, empathy, love, conscience, the sense of justice – all of these things, the things that hold society together, the things that allow our species to think so highly of itself, can now confidently be said to have a firm genetic basis. That’s the good news. The bad news is that, although these things are in some ways blessings for humanity as a whole, they didn’t evolve for the “good of the species” and aren’t reliably employed to that end. Quite the contrary: it is now clearer than ever how (and precisely why) the moral sentiments are used with brutal flexibility, switched on and off in keeping with self-interest; and how naturally oblivious we often are to this switching. In the new view, human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse. The title of this book is not wholly without irony. – Robert Wright
A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog. – Jack London
A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts. – Margaret Mead
A good head and a good heart are always a terrific combination. – Nelson Mandela
A little kindness towards one person is worth more than a great love towards all of humanity. – Richard Dehmel
A selfless and compassionate person is typically a happier, more serene woman or man. – Tenzin Gyatso
Acts of kindness weigh as much as all commandments. – Talmud
All altruism springs from putting yourself in the other person’s place. – Harry Emerson Fosdick
all this immorality and opportunism, this was what characterised them, not altruism, as the stories they had spun would have you believe. But then, this is a world whose running fuel is anecdotes and stories, he reminds himself. – Neel Mukherjee
Although people sometimes assume that the happy are self-absorbed and complacent, just the opposite is true. In general, happiness doesn’t make people want to drink daiquiris on the beach; it makes them want to help rural villagers gain better access to clean water. – Gretchen Rubin
Among other benefits, donating frees the donor’s soul. – Maya Angelou
As a boy my continuous and disinterested outbursts of altruism gave me the reputation of being good. When I grow up, that of fool. – Massimo Troisi
As moral philosophers through the ages have pointed out, a philosophy of living based on “Not everyone, just me!” falls apart as soon as one sees oneself from an objective standpoint as a person just like others. It is like insisting that “here,” the point in space one happens to be occupying at the moment, is a special place in the universe. – Steven Pinker
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others. – Audrey Hepburn
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. – John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Auguste Comte, in particular, whose social system, as unfolded in his Systeme de Politique Positive, aims at establishing (though by moral more than by legal appliances) a despotism of society over the individual, surpassing anything contemplated in the political ideal of the most rigid disciplinarian among the ancient philosophers. – John Stuart Mill
Be an opener of doors to those who come after you, and don’t try to make the Universe a blind alley. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Be kind, because every person you meet is already fighting a tough battle. – Plato
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. – Og Mandino
Beware of altruism. It is based on self-deception, the root of all evil. – Robert A. Heinlein
By helping others, you will learn how to help yourselves. – Aung San Suu Kyi
By performing simple acts of kindness towards others, we cannot help but elevate ourselves. – Anthony Robbins
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – Jesus of Nazareth
Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society. – Ayn Rand
Compassion dervies from the Latin patiri and the Greek pathein, meaning “to suffer, undergo or experience.” So “compassion” means “to endure [something] with another person,” to put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes, to feel her pain as though it were our own, and to enter generously into his point of view. That is why our hearts, discover what gives us pain, and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else. Compassion can be defined, therefore, as an attitude of principled, consistent altruism. – Karen Armstrong
Compassion, altruism, a good heart are not only noble feelings that our neighbor benefits from. They were mental states, mental conditions that we also benefit from ourselves. – Tenzin Gyatso
Do you know what love is? It’s all kindness, generosity. – Gialal Al-Din Rumi
Do you want to live happy? Travel with two bags: one to give, the other to receive. – Johann Wolfang Von Goethe
Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves. – Horace Mann
Don’t ask yourself: “Who are the others to be helped?”. Ask yourself, “Who am I not to help them?” – Fabrizio Caramagna
Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you. – Karl Lagerfeld
Each man must decide whether he wants to walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Effective altruism is about asking “How can I make the biggest difference I can?” and using evidence and careful reasoning to try to find an answer. It takes a scientific approach to doing good. Just as science consists of the honest and impartial attempt to work out what’s true, and a commitment to believe the truth whatever that turns out to be. As the phrase suggests, effective altruism consists of the honest and impartial attempt to work out what’s best for the world, and a commitment to do what’s best, whatever that turns out to be. – William MacAskill
Effective altruism is an advance in ethical behavior as well as in the practical application of our ability to reason. I have described it as an emerging movement, and that term suggests that it will continue to develop and spread. If it does, then once there is a critical mass of effective altruists, it will no longer seem odd for anyone to regard bringing about “the most good I can do” as an important life goal. If effective altruism does become mainstream, I would expect it to spread more rapidly, for then it will be apparent that it is easy to do a great deal of good and feel better about your life as a result. – Peter Singer
Egoism , which is the moving force of the world, and altruism , which is its morality , these two contradictory instincts , of which one is so plain and the other so mysterious, cannot serve us unless in the incomprehensible alliance of their irreconcilable antagonism. – Joseph Conrad
Egoism holds, therefore, is that each man’s happiness is the sole good–that a number of different things are each of them the only good thing there is–an absolute contradiction! No more complete and thorough refutation of any theory could be desired. – G.E. Moore
Egoism in its modern interpretation, is the antithesis, not of altruism, but of idealism. – John Buchanan Robinson
Elephant altruism on the Kenyan plains. With her tusks, Grace (right) lifted the fallen three-ton Eleanor to her feet, then tried to get her to walk by pushing her. But Eleanor fell again and eventually died, leaving Grace vocalizing with streaming temporal glands – a sign of deep distress. Being matriarchs of different herds, these two elephants were likely unrelated. – Frans De Waal
Enthusiasm is the thing which makes the world go round. Without its driving power, nothing worth doing has ever been done. Love, friendship, religion, altruism, devotion to career or hobby-all these, and most of the other good things of life, are forms of enthusiasm. – Robert Haven Schauffler
Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equalled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism. – Ayn Rand
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. – Voltaire
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.
Feelings, rationale and values are the top qualities that make a person exceedingly human. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
For evil to triumph, it is enough for the good to give up action. – Edmund Burke
For it is in giving that we receive. – Francis of Assisi
For thousands of years, human beings have been obsessed with beauty, truth, love, honor, altruism, courage, social relationships, art, and God. They all go together as subjective experiences, and it’s a straw man to set God up as the delusion. If he is, then so is truth itself or beauty itself. – Deepak Chopra
Functional, moderate guilt,” writes Kochanska, “may promote future altruism, personal responsibility, adaptive behavior in school, and harmonious, competent, and prosocial relationships with parents, teachers, and friends.” This is an especially important set of attributes at a time when a 2010 University of Michigan study shows that college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago, with much of the drop having occurred since 2000. (The study’s authors speculate that the decline in empathy is related to the prevalence of social media, reality TV, and “hyper-competitiveness.”) Of – Susan Cain
General good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocite, flatterer. – William Blake
Generosity is innate; altruism is an acquired perversity. There is no similarity. – Robert A. Heinlein
Good character consists of recognizing the selfishness that inheres in each of us and trying to balance it against the altruism to which we should all aspire. It is a difficult balance to strike, but no definition of goodness can be complete without it. – Alan Dershowitz
Happiness is the main object of our aspirations, whatever name we give to it: fulfilment, deep satisfaction, serenity, accomplishment, wisdom, fortune, joy or inner peace, and however we try to seek it: creativity, justice, altruism, striving, completion of a plan or a piece of work. – Matthieu Ricard
Hard to be good. – Pittaco
He himself didn’t see it as exceptionally altruistic, because he had understood one can’t be truly happy in isolation or, worse, among unhappy people. The best protection against danger, unhappiness and the sordidness of human existence is to be surrounded by people who love you. – Andrew Ashling
Helgeson and Fritz speculate that the gender difference here explains women’s greater propensity to anxiety and depression, a conclusion that meshes with the proposal by Barbara Oakley, who, drawing on work on “pathological altruism,” notes, “It’s surprising how many diseases and syndromes commonly seen in women seem to be related to women’s generally stronger empathy for and focus on others.” The – Paul Bloom
Hold onto your creativity, that idealism that is rooted in some degree of innocence and a firm belief in something finer than the things we already have. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
Human it is to have compassion on the afflicted. – Giovanni Boccaccio
I had always thought that the ‘good,’ and the ‘bad’ and the ‘violent’ did not exist in any absolute, essential sense. It seemed to me interesting to demystify these adjectives in the setting of a Western. An assassin can display a sublime altruism while a good man can kill with total indifference. – Sergio Leone
I know a ‘crime against nature’ when I see one. It is usually a sign of crimes against nature that we cannot bear to see them at all, that we recoil and hide our eyes, and no one has ever cringed at the sight of a soybean factory. I also know phony arguments when I hear them unbridled appetite passing itself off as altruism, and human arrogance in the guise of solemn ‘duty.’ We must, as C.S. Lewis advises, ‘reject with detestation that covert propaganda for cruelty which tries to drive mercy out of the world by calling it names such as ‘Humanitarianism’ and ‘Sentimentality. – Matthew Scully
I love everyone and everything. I belong to everyone and everything. I am a citizen of this world. I created my own universe. I don’t want to belong to an ideology or belief system. I don’t want to be imprisoned by someone else’s conforming thoughts. I only accept that which is beautiful, loving, and kind. I want to belong to this universe until I am gone. We are one; we are kin. So my religion is love and kindness is my prayer. Altruism is my path. Peace is my palace where I dwell with humility and happiness. – Debasish Mridha
If 10 percent of the population were to take a consciously ethical outlook on life and act accordingly, the resulting change would be more significant than any change of government, – Peter Singer
If a man is kind and courteous to strangers, he proves himself a citizen of the world. – Francis Bacon
If being a saint is complete devotion to a cause, bravery and altruism, then I think Mrs Sendlerowa fulfils all the conditions.I think about her the way you think about someone you owe your life to. – Irena Sendler
If God exists he reads your heart, if you have it black, two hours of volunteer work a week will not be enough to clean it up. – Lorenzo Licalzi
If there is anything I have learned about men and women, it is that there is a deeper spirit of altruism than is ever evident. Just as the rivers we see are minor compared to the underground streams, so, too, the idealism that is visible is minor compared to what people carry in their hearts unreleased or scarcely released. – Albert Schweitzer
If you begin by sacrificing yourself to those you love, you will end by hating those to whom you have sacrificed yourself. – George Bernard Shaw
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. – Buddha
If you wish to experience peace, provide peace for another. – Tenzin Gyatso
In a family or other small group, altruism prevails, but the farther away a person gets from an individual, the less altruistic he or she behaves toward them. – Mary Pilon
In a pocket of his knapsack he’d found a last half packet of cocoa and he fixed it for the boy and then poured his own cup with hot water and sat blowing at the rim.
You promised not to do that, the boy said.
You know what, Papa.
He poured the hot water back into the pan and took the boy’s cup and poured some of the cocoa into his own and then handed it back.
I have to watch you all the time, the boy said. – Cormac McCarthy
In charity there is no excess. – Francesco Bacon
In the end, the only thing that really matters is how we treated all living things. – Ka Chinery
In the midst of a culture that is rationally organized for a vocational workaday life, there is hardly any room for the cultivation of acosmic brotherliness, unless it is among strata who are economically carefree. Under the technical and social conditions of rational culture, an imitation of the life of Buddha, Jesus, or Francis seems condemned to failure for purely external reasons. – Max Weber
In the world of today, human desires far supersede human needs. Waste, as you can see, is the result of all of those contradictions. That is how we ended up complicating our world. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
In your selflessness pursuit of things higher than yourself, you appear selfish or inconsiderate to those who truly love you and who have cared deeply about you from the first day you came into their lives. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
It is part of the business of marketing to muddy the distinction between altruism and cynicism. – Don Watson
It’s time, friends. Time to give back. Time to step out and risk more than we want. Time to dream dreams bigger than we imagined. Time to mourn with those who mourn, to bring beauty where there are ashes, to announce a new season in the world. This isn’t mere altruism or sympathy; it’s more than a tax write-off or publicity stunt. It’s a shot at living the lives we were meant to live, that the world needs us to live, that we’re scared to live. – Jeff Goins
Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. – Lev Tolstoy
Kindness is a source of relief to the soul of the giver, creating a sense of fortitude that is incomprehensible to those who do not know what kindness is all about. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. – Mark Twain
Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception. – Buddha
Let us try to teach generosity and altruism, because we are born selfish. Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs, something that no other species has ever aspired to do. – Richard Dawkins
Let’s meet with a smile and once we start loving each other it will become natural to do something for others. – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
Life is an invisible vessel and you are what you throw into it. Throw envy, dissatisfaction, nastiness and anxiety will overflow. Throw in kindness, empathy and love and serenity will overflow – Fabrizio Caramagna
Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ – Martin Luther King Jr.
Living for others is not only the law of duty, it is also the law of happiness. – Auguste Comte
Love and hate when stretched to their extremes blind reasoning. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
Loyalty cannot be too liberally insisted upon. Altruism in nature remains an exception. It poses a puzzle, being in prima facie conflict with the survival of the fittest and most selfish. – Peter Birks
Main thought! The individual himself is a fallacy. Everything which happens in us is in itself something else which we do not know. ‘The individual’ is merely a sum of conscious feelings and judgments and misconceptions, a belief, a piece of the true life system or many pieces thought together and spun together, a ‘unity’, that doesn’t hold together. We are buds on a single tree – what do we know about what can become of us from the interests of the tree! But we have a consciousness as though we would and should be everything, a phantasy of ‘I’ and all ‘not I.’ Stop feeling oneself as this phantastic ego! Learn gradually to discard the supposed individual! Discover the fallacies of the ego! Recognize egoism as fallacy! The opposite is not to be understood as altruism! This would be love of other supposed individuals! No! Get beyond ‘myself’ and ‘yourself’! Experience cosmically! – Friedrich Nietzsche
Money is like manure of no use until it be spread. – Francesco Bacon
Most people ruin their lives with unhealthy and exaggerated altruism. – Oscar Wilde
My apostolate must be that of goodness. – Charles De Foucauld
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. – Dalai Lama
Neuroscientists, meanwhile, believe they have located the part of the brain linked with altruism. To their surprise, it turns out to be a more primitive part of the brain than initially suspected – the same part associated with our cravings for food and sex. That suggests that we are hardwired for altruism and not just faking it. “Nothing – Eric Weiner
Never give up the freeness of your soul. Live your duty to mankind, nurture creatures of this world as a true mother of the earth, but never shut your imagination off from those desires that distinguish you from the ordinary. Never allow yourself to be sapped of that extraordinary energy that is the necessary ingredient for creating something new and progressive. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you. – Mother Teresa of Calcutta
No one has ever become poor by giving. – Anne Frank
No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else. – Charles Dickens
No one keeps track of the hours we work,” said Ken Holberger. He grinned. “That’s not altruism on Data General’s part. If anybody kept track, they’d have to pay us a hell of a lot more than they do.” Yet it is a fact, not entirely lost on management consultants, that some people would rather work twelve hours a day of their own choosing than eight that are prescribed. Provided, of course, that the work is interesting. That was the main thing. – Tracy Kidder
No one was interested in Malabo – this was why the people in the village must have suspected him of having a deeper motive for visiting. He wanted something from them – why else would he come all this way to live in a hut? Altruism was unknown. Forty years of aid and charities and NGOs had taught them that. Only self-interested outsiders trifled with Africa, so Africa punished them for it. – Paul Theroux
No one would argue that we owe a debt of gratitude to the Goliath Corporation. They helped us to rebuild after the Second War and it should not be forgotten. Of late, however, it seems as though the Goliath Corporation is falling far short of its promises of fairness and altruism. We are finding ourselves now in the unfortunate position of continuing to pay back a debt that has long since been paid with interest … – Jasper Fforde
None of us have gotten to where we are solely from hoisting ourselves. We’re here because someone… bent down and helped us. – Thurgood Marshall
Not for ourselves alone are we born. – Marco Tullio Cicerone
Nothing is really ours until we share it. – CS Lewis
One has to practice seeing the goodness that is in everyone. – Richard Bach
One of the great issues in biology is the origin of altruism – of why you would do something for someone else that could hurt you – and Darwin posited that it might be rooted in maternal instinct, in sacrificing yourself for your children. – Isabella Rossellini
One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others. – Lewis Carroll
One should think more about doing good than feeling good: and in this way one would end up feeling better too. – Alessandro Manzoni
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. – Albert Einstein
Only kind people are really strong. – James Dean
Peace must first be developed within an individual. And I believe that love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed within an individual, he or she is then able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony. This atmosphere can be expanded and extended from the individual to his family, from the family to the community and eventually to the whole world. – Dalai Lama
Political labels – such as monarchist, communist, democratic, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so on – are never fundamental criteria. The human race is divided politically into those who want to control people and those who do not have such a desire. The former are idealists who act out of the best motives, for the greatest good of the greatest number of people. The latter are acid types, suspicious and devoid of altruism. But they are much less uncomfortable neighbors than those of the other category. – Robert A. Heinlein
Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now. – Jack Kerouac
Rabbi Hiyya advised his wife, “When a poor man comes to the door, be quick to give him food so that the same may be done to your children.” She exclaimed, “You are cursing our children [with the suggestion that they may become beggars].” But Rabbi Hiyya replied, “There is a wheel which revolves in this world.” – Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 151b – Joseph Telushkin
And you spend your day going around from the house of the washerman to the house of the sweeper, asking about this one’s son and that one’s nephew, but spending no time with your own family. It is no secret that many people here think that you are a communist.’
Rasheed reflected that this probably meant only that he loathed the poverty and injustice endemic to the village, and that he made no particular secret of it. – Vikram Seth
Reciprocal altruism, meanwhile, is rampant in Washington and is the primary channel through which interest groups have succeeded in corrupting government. As the legal scholar Lawrence Lessig points out, interest groups are able to influence members of Congress legally simply by making donations and waiting for unspecified return favors. And sometimes, the legislator is the one initiating the gift exchange, favoring an interest group in the expectation that he will get some sort of benefit from it after leaving office. – Anonymous
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of your arm… As you become more mature you will find that you have two hands. One to help yourself, the other to help others. – Audrey Hepburn
Restoration ecology is experimental science, a science of love and altruism. In its attempts to reverse the processes of ecosystem degradation it runs exactly counter to the market system, to land speculation, to the whole cultural attitude of regarding the Earth as commodity rather than community. It is a soft-souled science. – Stephanie Mills
Safeguarding the rights of others is the most noble and beautiful end of a human being. – Khalil Gibran
Sean wrote that he prefers a woman with little experience so that he can take the time to teach her. What’s that about? Altruism at its finest. He wants other guys to have better sex, so he teaches the new girl the ropes. That makes no sense. None of this does. There’s a disconnect between this file and the guy I know. – H.M. Ward
Social motherliness has made women’s struggle for liberty the loveliest synthesis of egoism and altruism. – Ellen Key
Sometime in the last 50,000 years, before 12,000 years ago, a kind of paradise came into existence. A situation in which men and women, parents and children, people and animals, human institutions and the land all were in dynamic balance and not in any primitive sense at all. Language was fully developed, poetry may have been at its climax, dance, magic, poetics, altruism, philosophy. There’s no reason to think that these things were not practiced as adroitly as we practice them today and it was under the boundary dissolving influence of psilocybin. – Terence McKenna
Sometimes, our pride compels us to engage in costly wars when a true commitment to a compromising peace would have been the best course to pursue. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
That liberty [is pure] which is to go to all, and not to the few or the rich alone. (to Horatio Gates, 1798) – Thomas Jefferson
The altruism of foresters can serve as a motto for humanity in general: “We reap what we have not sown. We sow what we do not reap.” – Leo Errera
The altruist is one who has badly done his or her accounts. – Roberto Gervaso
The best thing about having money is that you can use it to help someone else. – Marty Rubin
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi
The book of nature is like the Bible: Everyone reads into it what they want, from tolerance to intolerance, and from altruism to greed. It’s good to realize, though, that if biologists never stop talking of competition, this doesn’t mean they advocate it, and if they call genes selfish, this doesn’t mean that genes actually are. Genes can’t be any more “selfish” than a river can be “angry,” or sun rays “loving.” Genes are little chunks of DNA. At most, they are “self-promoting,” because successful genes help their carriers spread more copies of themselves. – Frans De Waal
The citizen who helps others is the consolation of the fatherland. – Publilius Syrus
The closer one gets to being motivated by altruism, the more fearless one becomes in the face of even extremely anxiety-provoking circumstances. – Dalai Lama
The dignity we create in the time allotted to us becomes a continuum with the dignity we achieve by the altruism of accepting the necessity of death. – Sherwin B. Nuland
The Goliath Corporation was to altruism what Genghis Khan was to soft furnishings. – Jasper Fforde
The hands that help are better far than lips that pray. – Robert Ingersoll
The highest esteem goes not to one who accumulates wealth for himself at the expense of others, and has the greatest number of servants, but to those who serve others the most and give more to others. – Lev Tolstoy
The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism. – Oscar Wilde
The mathematical challenge of finding the greatest good can expand the heart. Empathy opens the mind to suffering, and math keeps it open. – Derek Thompson
The most beautiful human work is to be useful to others. – Sophocles
The most beautiful thanks for God’s gifts is to pass them on to others. – Michael Von Faulhaber
The only thing altruism will get you here is a boot stomping on your head. – Henry Mosquera
The practice of altruism is the authentic way to live as a human being, and it is not just for religious people. As human beings, our purpose is to live meaningful lives, to develop a warm heart. There is meaning in being everyone’s friend. The real source of peace amongst our families, friends and neighbours is love and compassion. – Dalai Lama
The psychological attitudes which are indispensable in the American market place are disastrous to family life. Family life … requires yieldingness, generosity, sympathy, altruism, tenderness-all the qualities, in fact, which lead straight to bankruptcy … the American family is tragically out of gear with the profit structure which has mushroomed up around it. – Margaret Halsey
The question arises: what will happen when they too – Winston Churchill
The race that possesses the highest selflessness will last. – Jack London
The real downside to marriage is that it makes you selfless. And selfless people are insignificant. They lack individuality. – Oscar Wilde
The semimetaphysical problems of the individual and society, of egoism and altruism, of freedom and determinism, either disappear or remain in the form of different phases in the organization of a consciousness that is fundamentally social. – Margaret Mead
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest of intentions. – Kahlil Gibran
The society in which kindness is not appreciated falls apart. – Tenzin Gyatso
The sun of truth rises in the human being and illuminates his world when he lifts his mind from the darkness of ignorance and selfishness into the light of wisdom and altruism – Samael Aun Weor
The thing for us to do is just to do our duty, and not worry about whether anybody sees us do it or not. – Mark Twain
The three values which men held for centuries and which have now collapsed are: mysticism, collectivism, altruism. Mysticism – as a cultural power – died at the time of the Renaissance. Collectivism – as a political ideal – died in World War II. As to altruism – it has never been alive. It is the poison of death in the blood of Western civilization, and men survived it only to the extent to which they neither believed nor practiced it … – Ayn Rand
The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. – Nelson Henderson
The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive. – Albert Einstein
When we see social relationships controlled everywhere by the principles which Jesus illustrated in life trust, love, mercy, and altruism then we shall know that the kingdom of God is here. – Martin Luther King Jr.
There are people who bring joy to our lives, but who fail to make us happy. They are the people for the moment. Never rely on their love because it is not sustainable. Their love is alike a comet that illuminates the sky, but then fades away because it lacks the sustainable energy of the sun. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
There are two irreconcilable ideas of God. There’s the Unknowable Creative Principle—one believes in That. And there’s the Sum of altruism in man—naturally one believes in That…The sublime poem of the Christ life was man’s attempt to join those two irreconcilable conceptions of God. And since the Sum of human altruism was as much a part of the Unknowable Creative Principle as anything else in Nature and the Universe, a worse link might have been chosen after all! Funny—how one went through life without seeing it in that sort of way! – John Galsworthy
There are very dark times when even basic human altruism must be an intentional act of rebellion.
–I Am Fire and Air. – William Anthony
There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to help others without expecting anything in return. – Nelson Mandela
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. That magnet is unselfishness, thinking of others first; when you learn to live for others, they will live for you. – Paramahansa Yogananda
There is a magnet in your heart that will attract true friends. This magnet is called altruism. – Paramahansa Yogananda
There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. – Lev Tolstoy
There’s a lot of evidence in evolutionary sciences that show that altruism and acting in ways that are empathetic to others are actually beneficial on an evolutionary basis. – Neill Blomkamp
There’s no such thing as altruism. – Andrew Tobias
Those who do not adapt to kindness mostly pay the penalty for their pride. – Phaedrus
To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own. – Abraham Lincoln
To identify Woman with Altruism is to guarantee man absolute rights to her devotion; it is to impose on women a categorical must-be. – Simone De Beauvoir
To live for others was to live fully; to live only for yourself, a cold kind of death. – Joe Hill
To love for the sake of being loved is human, but to love for the sake of loving is angelic. – Alphonse de Lamartine
To treat yourself, use your head; to treat others, use your heart. – Eleanor Anna Roosevelt
True happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed. – Dalai Lama
True heroes don’t fall. They only encounter temporary setbacks as they forge ahead towards progress. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
Two kinds of gratitude: the sudden kind we feel for what we take; the larger kind we feel for what we give. – Edwin Arlington Robinson
Ultimately humanity is one, and this small planet is our only home. If we’re to protect this home of ours, each of us needs to experience a vivid sense of universal altruism and compassion. – Dalai Lama XIV
Unselfish people are colorless. They lack individuality. – Oscar Wilde
Volunteering gives a purpose to my life and, above all, to my profession. – Maria Grazia Cucinotta
Volunteering is for the hotties! Do you know that so-called volunteers don’t even get paid? – The Simpsons
We always emerge from the death of a loved one like a phoenix arising from its funeral pyre. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love. – Mother Teresa
We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone. – Ronald Reagan
We need to build websites with celebrity speakers who talk about the ideals of fairness, sharing, democratic cooperation, and altruism in public life. – Deepak Chopra
We should never regret the time we have spent in proceeding well. – Joseph Joubert
We still need to give our best to life even if we do not understand the purpose of our existence on earth. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
We, humans, have come up with so many superficialities that are completely unnecessary for our existence and happiness on earth. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
What is so ‘only’ about ‘yourself’? Is not the first thing one has to learn in this respect that to do something for yourself–I mean, the right kind of thing–is just as valuable and ethical than to do it for somebody else? Wouldn’t you say that the good feeling we get simply because we did ‘it’ (whatever) for somebody else is cheating, in that it postpones the question: what is it good for? – Rudolf Arnheim
What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good. – Aristotle
What we do for others always seems a lot to us, what others do for us seems nothing to us. – St. Francis Di Sales
What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. – Albert Pike
When abandoned women follow their fleeing males with tear-stained faces, screaming you can’t do this to me, they reveal that all that they have offered in the name of generosity and altruism has been part of an assumed transaction, in which they were entitled to a certain payoff. – Germaine Greer
When somebody you love dies, a phase of life’s innocence dies with that person, and a part of you dies as well. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
When you are able to shift your inner awareness to how you can serve others, and when you make this the central focus of your life, you will then be in a position to know true miracles in your progress toward prosperity. – Wayne W. Dyer
When you give yourself, you receive more than you give. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Whenever I see people getting a bad deal I want to step in and do something about it. Of course, this is not pure altruism – there’s a profit to be made too. – Richard Branson
Where there is music of devotion, God is always at hand with his gentle presence. – Johann Sebastian Bach
While we avoid taking credit for success, women leap at the opportunity to take responsibility for failure. Men tend to externalize the reasons for their failure, putting it off on something or someone else. Not so women, who absorb blame as if they were born to be societys doormats. (Some women like to speak of their willingness to take blame as if it were a form of altruism. It isn’t. Women take the blame because they find it scary to confront those who are actually culpable of wrongdoing.) – Colette Dowling
Who helps others helps himself. – Lucio Anneo Seneca
Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though t’were his own. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
With true love, you can move mountains, make unusual sacrifices, live a life of deprivations and still be happy. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
Writers understand the world better, but they lack the strength to change it. Perhaps that is so because they understand their limitations more than others. – Janvier Chouteu-Chando
You can always give something, if only kindness. – Anne Frank
You cannot save people. You can only love them. – Anaïs Nin
You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. – John Bunyan
You know what? This isn’t about your feelings. A human life, with all its joys and all its pains, adding up over the course of decades, is worth far more than your brain’s feelings of comfort or discomfort with a plan. Does computing the expected utility feel too cold-blooded for your taste? Well, that feeling isn’t even a feather in the scales, when a life is at stake. Just shut up and multiply. – Eliezer Yudkowsky
You know, Emily was a selfish old woman in her way. She was very generous, but she always wanted a return. She never let people forget what she had done for them – and, that way she missed love. – Agatha Christie
You see, it’s about empathy. It’s not about you. It’s about empathy. It’s not even about caring or being kind. It’s about empathy. Do you think that all people who can empathize with other people (and rocks and trees), are desirous of being kind, at all times? Of course not! Empathy often hurts, and is often difficult. But we experience this difficulty, because we are human beings, because human beings are designed to connect with other living and non-living things! – C. JoyBell C.
Quotes From Wikiquote
- The highest of distinctions is service to others.
- George VI of the United Kingdom, a phrase later adopted by his daughter, Elizabeth II.
- First, the egoist calls life a war without mercy, and then he takes the greatest possible trouble to drill his enemies in war. To preach egoism is to practise altruism.
- G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy (1908), p. 67
- Non sibi sed aliis
- English translation: “Not for self but for others”, alternately “Not for themselves, but for others”. It is used as the motto of Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia, and is translated by Ferrum as “Not Self, But Others”.
- The altruism is an instinct we’ve inherited from the small society where we know for whom we work, whom we serve. When you pass from this as I like to call it, ‘concrete society’ where we are guided by what we see to the abstract society which far transcends our range of vision, it becomes necessary that we are guided not by the knowledge of the effect of what we do but from some abstract symbols. Now, this symbol which takes us where we can tells us where we can make the best contribution is profit. And in fact by pursuing profit, we are as altruistic as we can possibly be, because we extend our concern to people who are beyond our range of personal conception. This is a condition which makes it possible to- even to produce what I call an extended order; an order which is not determined by our aim, by our knowing what are the most urgent needs, but by impersonal mechanism who by a system of communication puts a label on certain things which is calling impersonal.
- Friedrich Hayek, in 1985 interview with John O’Sullivan
- Life has its beginning and its maturity comes into being when an individual rises above self to something greater. Few individuals learn this, and so they go through life merely existing and never living. Now you see signs all along in your everyday life with individuals who are the victims of self-centeredness. They are the people who live an eternal “I.” They do not have the capacity to project the “I” into the “Thou.” They do not have the mental equipment for an eternal, dangerous and sometimes costly altruism. They live a life of perpetual egotism. And they are the victims all around of the egocentric predicament. They start out, the minute you talk with them, talking about what they can do, what they have done. They’re the people who will tell you, before you talk with them five minutes, where they have been and who they know. They’re the people who can tell you in a few seconds, how many degrees they have and where they went to school and how much money they have. We meet these people every day. And so this is not a foreign subject. It is not something far off. It is a problem that meets us in everyday life. We meet it in ourselves, we meet in other selves: the problem of selfcenteredness.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., in his speech “Conquering Self-centeredness”, delivered on 11 August 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
- An individual has not begun to live until he can rise above the narrow horizons of his particular individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. And this is one of the big problems of life, that so many people never quite get to the point of rising above self. And so they end up the tragic victims of self-centeredness. They end up the victims of distorted and disrupted personality.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., in his speech “Conquering Self-centeredness”, delivered on 11 August 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
- Variants: (Many of MLKs’ speeches were delivered many times with slight variants): An Individual has not started living fully until they can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity. Every person must decide at some point, whether they will walk in light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment: Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’
- As quoted in The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Coretta Scott King, Second Edition (2011), Ch. “Community of Man”, p. 3
- And there is another way to rise above self-centeredness and that is by having the proper inner attitude toward your position or toward your status in life or whatever it is. You conquer self-centeredness by coming to the point of seeing that you are where you are today because somebody helped you to get there. And so many people, you see, live a self-centered, egocentric life because they have the attitude that they are responsible for everything and for their position in life. For everything they do in life, they feel, somehow, that they are responsible and solely responsible for it.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., in his speech “Conquering Self-centeredness”, delivered on 11 August 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
- [Y]ou are what you are because of somebody else. You are what you are because of the grace of the Almighty God. He who seeks to find his ego will lose it. But he who loses his ego in some great cause, some great purpose, some great ideal, some great loyalty, he who discovers, somehow, that he stands where he stands because of the forces of history and because of other individuals; he who discovers that he stands where he stands because of the grace of God, finds himself. He loses himself in that something but later finds himself. And this is the way, it seems to me, to the integrated personality.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., in his speech “Conquering Self-centeredness”, delivered on 11 August 1957 at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama.
- 진리를 구하자 · 허위를 버리자 · 희생하자
- English translation: “Let us pursue the truth. Let us forsake falsehood. Let us sacrifice ourselves.” Motto of the Korea Naval Academy, the naval military college of the Republic of Korea Navy, located in Jinhae, South Gyeongsang Province, South Korea.
- Altruism itself was so insisted upon in the latter half of the nineteenth century that … theory and practice, words and deeds, stood in liveliest contradiction. … Everywhere a conflict rent the world in twain: it created abysses in every thinker’s scheme of things: it made its presence so unpleasantly real that the best brains gave up research and thinking, and crept for refuge into a profession, a craft, into libraries, or hid themselves in the mine-shafts of specialism.
- Oscar Levy, The Revival of Aristocracy (1906), p. 37
- Greatness loves itself, and all healthy instincts decline to flagellate themselves daily with the whip of altruism. What is great must will to do more than its mere duty; it must give, make others happy, and, be it at the cost of itself, its own wellbeing, its own money or life, it must will to pour forth its blessing over others, to the extent even of self-sacrifice—but not, as Christianity demands, from unegoistic motives; the impulse must come from a sense of pleasure, from overflowing energy, from need of bloodletting, so as to unburden the full heart. All acts then derived from conscience and duty, or done with a wry countenance out of obedience to the Categorical Imperative, seem to the great man, from his point of view, through this very fact contemptible, even as he has an unsurmountable prejudice against men and nations who are always prating of those words, conscience and duty.
- Oscar Levy, The Revival of Aristocracy (1906), p. 81
- Men have been taught that their first concern is to relieve the suffering of others. … To make that the highest test of virtue is to make suffering the most important part of life. Then man must wish to see others suffer—in order that he may be virtuous. Such is the nature of altruism.
- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 680
- The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves.
- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 680
- As poles of good and evil, he was offered two conceptions: egoism and altruism. Egoism was held to mean the sacrifice of others to self. Altruism—the sacrifice of self to others. This tied man irrevocably to other men and left him nothing but a choice of pain: his own pain borne for the sake of others or pain inflicted upon others for the sake of self. … Man was forced to accept masochism as his ideal—under the threat that sadism was his only alternative.
- Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 681
- The important thing is not the amount of welfare, it is that there should be a maximum of love among men. The act of helping is the direct and adequate expression of love, not its meaning or “purpose.” Its meaning lies in itself, in its illumination of the soul, in the nobility of the loving soul in the act of love. Therefore nothing can be further removed from this genuine concept of Christian love than all kinds of “socialism,” “social feeling,” “altruism,” and other subaltern modern things. When the rich youth is told to divest himself of his riches and give them to the poor, it is really not in order to help the “poor” and to effect a better distribution of property in the interest of general welfare. Nor is it because poverty as such is supposed to be better than wealth. The order is given because the act of giving away, and the spiritual freedom and abundance of love which manifest themselves in this act, ennoble the youth and make him even “richer” than he is.
- Max Scheler, Ressentiment, L. Coser, trans. (1961), p. 93
- One cannot love anybody without turning away from oneself. However, the crucial question is whether this movement is prompted by the desire to turn toward a positive value, or whether the intention is a radical escape from oneself. “Love” of the second variety is inspired by self-hatred, by hatred of one’s own weakness and misery. The mind is always on the point of departing for distant places. Afraid of seeing itself and its inferiority, it is driven to give itself to the other—not because of his worth, but merely for the sake of his “otherness.” Modern philosophical jargon has found a revealing term for this phenomenon, one of the many modern substitutes for love: “altruism.” This love is not directed at a previously discovered positive value, nor does any such value flash up in the act of loving: there is nothing but the urge to turn away from oneself and to lose oneself in other people’s business. We all know a certain type of man frequently found among socialists, suffragettes, and all people with an ever-ready “social conscience”— the kind of person whose social activity is quite clearly prompted by inability to keep his attention focused on himself, on his own tasks and problems. Looking away from oneself is here mistaken for love! Isn’t it abundantly clear that “altruism,” the interest in “others” and their lives, has nothing at all to do with love? The malicious or envious person also forgets his own interest, even his “preservation.” He only thinks about the other man’s feelings, about the harm and the suffering he inflicts on him. Conversely, there is a form of genuine “self-love” which has nothing at all to do with “egoism.” It is precisely the essential feature of egoism that it does not apprehend the full value of the isolated self. The egoist sees himself only with regard to the others, as a member of society who wishes to possess and acquire more than the others. Selfdirectedness or other-directedness have no essential bearing on the specific quality of love or hatred. These acts are different in themselves, quite independently of their direction.
- Max Scheler, Ressentiment, pp. 37-38
- There is a completely different way of stooping to the small, the lowly, and the common, even though it may seem almost the same. Here love does not spring from an abundance of vital power, from firmness and security. Here it is only a euphemism for escape, for the inability to “remain at home” with oneself (chez soi). Turning toward others is but the secondary consequence of this urge to flee from oneself. … Modern philosophical jargon has found a revealing term for this phenomenon, one of the many modern substitutes for love: “altruism.” This love is not directed at a previously discovered positive value, nor does any such value flash up in the act of loving: there is nothing but the urge to turn away from oneself and to lose oneself in other people’s business. We all know a certain type of man frequently found among socialists, suffragettes, and all people with an ever-ready “social conscience”—the kind of person whose social activity is quite clearly prompted by inability to keep his attention focused on himself, on his own tasks and problems.
- Max Scheler, Ressentiment, L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 95-96
- In ressentiment morality, love for the “small,” the “poor,” the “weak,” and the “oppressed” is really disguised hatred, repressed envy, an impulse to detract, etc., directed against the opposite phenomena: “wealth,” “strength,” “power,” “largesse.” When hatred does not dare to come out into the open, it can be easily expressed in the form of ostensible love—love for something which has features that are the opposite of those of the hated object. This can happen in such a way that the hatred remains secret. When we hear that falsely pious, unctuous tone (it is the tone of a certain “socially-minded” type of priest), sermonizing that love for the “small” is our first duty, love for the “humble” inspirit, since God gives “grace” to them, then it is often only hatred posing as Christian love.
- Max Scheler, Ressentiment, L. Coser, trans. (1961), pp. 96-97
- If you begin by sacrificing yourself to those you love, you will end by hating those to whom you have sacrificed yourself.
- George Bernard Shaw, Maxims for Revolutionists, #179
- Altruism is a barbarism. Love is the word.
- John Lancaster Spalding, Aphorisms and Reflections (1901), p. 170
- These Things We Do, That Others May Live
- Motto of the United States Air Force Pararescue, a branch of the U.S. Air Force that specializes in combat search and rescue, and has carried out missions ranging from extracting downed air crews from hostile territory to retrieving NASA astronauts in water landings.
- Non sibi sed patriae
- English translation: “Not for self but for country”. Unofficial motto of the United States Navy.
- Altruism is a brief phase through which some adolescents must pass. It is rather like acne. Happily, as with acne, only a few are permanently scarred.
- Gore Vidal, “Growing Up With Gore Vidal,” Point to Point Navigation (2007), p. 27
- This odd little woman is attempting to give a moral sanction to greed and self interest, and to pull it off she must at times indulge in purest Orwellian newspeak of the “freedom is slavery” sort. What interests me most about her is not the absurdity of her “philosophy,” but the size of her audience (in my campaign for the House she was the one writer people knew and talked about). She has a great attraction for simple people who are puzzled by organized society, who object to paying taxes, who dislike the “welfare” state, who feel guilt at the thought of the suffering of others but who would like to harden their hearts. For them, she has an enticing prescription: altruism is the root of all evil, self-interest is the only good, and if you’re dumb or incompetent that’s your lookout.
- Gore Vidal, “Comment”, Esquire (July 1961)
- For to justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil. For one thing, it is gratuitous to advise any human being to look out for himself. You can be sure that he will. It is far more difficult to persuade him to help his neighbor to build a dam or to defend a town or to give food he has accumulated to the victims of a famine. But since we must live together, dependent upon one another for many things and services, altruism is necessary to survival. To get people to do needed things is the perennial hard task of government, not to mention of religion and philosophy. That it is right to help someone less fortunate is an idea which has figured in most systems of conduct since the beginning of the race. We often fail. That predatory demon “I” is difficult to contain but until now we have all agreed that to help others is a right action. […] Ayn Rand’s “philosophy” is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society. To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.
- Gore Vidal, “Comment”, Esquire (July 1961)
- Now and then, in the course of the century, a great man of science, like Darwin; a great poet, like Keats; a fine critical spirit, like M. Renan; a supreme artist, like Flaubert, has been able to isolate himself, to keep himself out of reach of the clamorous claims of others, to stand “under the shelter of the wall,” as Plato puts it, and so to realise the perfection of what was in him, to his own incomparable gain, and to the incomparable and lasting gain of the whole world. These, however, are exceptions. The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism—are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence. … It is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought.
- Oscar Wilde, “The Soul of Man Under Socialism,” Complete Works (New York: 1989), p. 1079, ¶ 2
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