96 Kindness quotes that foster, nurture, and honor the best in us.

Quotes about kindness echo acts that are sometimes small, but always significant.

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Quotes on kindness to show thanks and frame the mind.

Every decision we make impacts those around us and it’s up to us whether we affect them for better or worse. Like a current of people walking down a bustling street, if you step left, someone walking toward you has to step right.

In a perfect world, we would glide down the street with kindness at every step. Instead, we’re too busy getting where we’re going. We see only what’s beneath our own feet.

Kindness quotes take the “why” behind kindness and bottle it to keep. Historically, quotes on kindness have shaped political movements, defined novels, and represented humanity. What will they do now for you?

Whether you want to practice more kindness or send gratitude to someone who showed kindness to you, start with these quotes on kindness. Choose your favorites and let Adobe Express help you use them in posters, banners, cards, and other projects to keep kindness with every step.

All-time best kindness quotes to shape our world.

Kindness is part mindset, part practice. It’s a muscle we all flex, and these are the best kindness quotes to help do it. Commit your favorite to memory and it can be a regular reminder that you can always choose kindness.

Kindness is something you can show to friends, family, colleagues, and strangers on the street. See if you can list as many acts of kindness as there are quotes about kindness below.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.”

Wendy Mass, The Candymakers

This is a fundamental reminder we need every day. It’s easy to dehumanize someone as a “nitwit” behind the wheel or a “brat” who can’t keep up at work. What’s going on in their lives that we don’t know about, though?

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

The puzzle pieces of our interactions with the people we meet make up the picture of our world. How would this quote—and that concept—look in a poster?

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”
Seneca
It takes so much energy to be mean. It takes much less to be nice.”

Leah Thomas

Adults can use this reminder, too, but it does make for a great message to hang on a banner in a grade school classroom.

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”
Abraham Joshua Heschel
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.”

Kahlil Gibran

If you intend to go to the gym, it won’t do you any good unless you go. Choosing kindness is the same.

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
Kind hearts are the gardens. Kind thoughts are the roots. Kind words are the blossoms. Kind deeds are the fruits.”
Kirpal Singh
Real generosity is doing something for someone who will never find out.”

Frank A. Clark

When you’re kind, you sometimes feel good about your actions. Do you feel good because you “did someone a favor” or because you’re happy that someone else is happy? Kindness comes from empathy, and it takes place whether the recipient gives you credit or not.

Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”

Roy T. Bennett

Ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how often you choose kindness. What does that make you?

In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi
Kindness shouldn’t have to be earned. It should be freely given.”

Raven Kennedy, Glint

Kindness is not a finite resource we can exhaust. There’s no reason to hold back kindness until someone has “earned it,” because kindness is not something we have to ration.

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

When you choose kindness, you improve the lives around you. The results are rarely immediate, but a lifetime of kindness will cultivate your best possible world.

We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.”
Charlie Chaplin
Life is an echo. What you send out, comes back. What you sow, you reap. What you give, you get. What you see in others, exists in you.”
Zig Ziglar
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Power of kindness quotes to put the power in your hands.

Author Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Publilius Syrus wrote, “You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” These two quotes take one unlikely thing—either a pen, or kindness—and they show its superiority over something we associate with power.

Quotes about kindness and our power to choose it leave us feeling mighty. A single act of kindness can change someone’s day, and kindness toward others can change us more than it changes them.

Choose your favorite quotes about the power of kindness and imagine how they’ll make others feel when you use them in flyers, banners, or cards.

Empathy is the only way to live. Kindness is the only way any of us are going to survive.”
Bella Hadid
Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.”

Bob Kerrey

Considering the cost of being kind, it’s a wonder we don’t always choose the kind thing to do. Where could you share this message to inspire reflection?

Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness.”
R.J. Palacio , Wonder
A single act of kindness throws roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.”

Amelia Earhart

Kindness is mighty, but its power isn’t instantaneous. Still, if no one planted trees before us, our own world would be barren.

Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”

Eric Hoffer

Think of some of the kindest people you know. Observe how they practice kindness. What do you think their motives are?

I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Maya Angelou
Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.”
Swami Sivananda
What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

This daily reminder of the choices we make is great for a poster to keep it top of mind.

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia
Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does.” -

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

How does this observation make you look at kindness differently?

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 , Does My Head Look Big in This?
Beware of the small things. A small leak can sink a great ship.”

Tshepo H. Maloa

Metaphors like this can easily be turned into imagery for striking posters. With Adobe Express, you can make a poster or banner using this quote in a matter of minutes.

A big component of effective communication is to treat people as they wish to be treated.”
Luigina Sgarro
You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.”
Publilius Syrus
Good words bring good feelings to the heart. Speak with kindness, always.”

Rod Williams

The Oxford English Dictionary currently has over 170,000 words. Choosing to be kind means choosing words that bring good feelings to someone else. That doesn’t mean you have to gush over people or be false. Just choose the kind words out of those available.

Being kind costs us nothing—not being kind will cost us everything.”

Abhijit Naskar, Vande Vasudhaivam

We have everything to gain by being kind, and nothing to lose.

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Kindness in love quotes—from romantic love to our sense of humanity.

You don’t love everyone you choose to be kind to, but you do want to be kind to those you love. Kindness is not about doing favors. Kindness is practicing empathy. If you love someone, you know them intimately. You can genuinely imagine life in their shoes. This makes kindness more natural.

Tenderness, affection, and shared humanity are all covered in these kindness matters quotes. When we really care, we choose kindness. Pick your favorite kindness in love quotes and imagine how you could use them in posters, collages, and more.

If we are asking for the world to be kind, we must first ask, ‘What are we doing to add more kindness to the world?’ If we are asking for the world to be more loving, we must first ask, ‘What are we doing to add more love to the world?’ We are the vessels for the things we seek.”
Joél Leon
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”

Kahlil Gibran

Word association with kindness doesn’t typically call “strength” or “resolution” to mind. Gibran makes a good point, though: Kindness is a value. When you stand up for your values, you show resolve.

I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.”
Mother Teresa , A Gift for God: Prayers and Meditations
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”

Dr. Seuss

Put it simply like Dr. Seuss (with a little rhyme whenever possible), and you have a message that’s perfect for a poster.

With all of the bad things that are happening in the world right now, I think we need a message of togetherness and true unity. I believe that starts with personal reflection and then we can find kindness toward each other.”
Marielle Heller
Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud.”

Maya Angelou

Think of people who bring light and color to your life. Could you open a letter to them with this Maya Angelou quote?

‘This is what kindness does,’ Ms. Albert said. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world.”
Jacqueline Woodson , Each Kindness
Jealousy says, ‘Compete with each other.’ Envy says, ‘Destroy each other.’ Empathy says, ‘Help each other.’ Love says, ‘Empower each other.’”

Matshona Dhliwayo

Empathy and helping each other are the parents of kindness.

Everyone and everything you love becomes a part of who you are. You just never realize how much until they are gone.”
Tshepo H. Maloa
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
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Dalai Lama

Compassion and kindness are the answer to everything, and being kind to yourself is part of that.

Loneliness is dependent on not loving very many things. So now I try to love a lot.”

Charlotte Eriksson,

He loved me some days. I'm sure he did.

Kindness isn’t always reciprocated, and we rarely reap the fruits of our kindness immediately. The more people you’re kind to, however, the greater chance of creating an environment where others are kind to you.

Love yourself and extend the love to others.”
Lailah Gifty Akita , Pearls of Wisdom
Awards are great, but really what makes me happy is making other people happy.”

Ellen DeGeneres

Think of the last person who truly made you happy. Maybe a coworker brought you a hot mocha or your brother took an hour to talk to you on the phone. How can you pay the kindness forward and make someone else happy?

True beauty is born through our actions and aspirations and in the kindness we offer to others.”
Alek Wek
To kindness and love, the things we need most.”

Dr. Seuss, The Grinch

We’ll toast to that, Mr. Grinch.

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“Thank you for your kindness” quotes for cards and letters.

The gratitude we feel when someone is kind to us is unlike any other. Kindness is born of empathy, not obligation. Giving gifts and doing favors lead to “thank you” cards and traditional shows of gratitude, but kindness asks for nothing back.

That’s the source of its unique appreciation. Gratitude for an act of kindness bubbles up inside us and we pine to show thanks, even though thanks is not expected. This doesn’t come from feelings of indebtedness. It comes from admiration and revelation.

The acts of kindness that truly touch us inspire us to be kind to others, and the first person we direct good words to is the person who touched us with kindness first. Choose from these kindness quotes to reflect the unique gratitude that wells up when a kind act inspires thanks.

How beautiful a day can be, when kindness touches it.”

George Elliston

Part of the unique gratitude that an act of kindness evokes is the wonder that one thing can change our day so drastically.

Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.”
Voltaire
Kindness can only be repaid with kindness. It can’t be repaid with expressions like ‘thank you’ and then forgotten.”
Malala Yousafzai , I Am Malala
Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.”

G.B. Stern

This is a great response to “Oh, don’t mention it.”

No one has ever become poor by giving.”

Anne Frank

Coming from a teenage diarist in hiding with her family, this powerful statement can be used in thanks, and to encourage specific acts of kindness, like an opportunity to volunteer that is promoted on a flyer.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”
G.K. Chesterton
Kindness can transform someone's dark moment with a blaze of light. You'll never know how much your caring matters.”

Amy Leigh Mercree

Someone who routinely practices kindness might not think too much about it, which is remarkable when we look at how much kindness affects us as receivers.

Consideration of others is a reflection of your kindness.”
Noel Jhinku
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.”
James Matthew Barrie
Kindness is the currency of the heart, and its value never depreciates.”

Carlos Wallace, Why Sell Lies When The Truth Is Free

What else can you imagine on a card bearing this “thanks for the kindness” quote?

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

“Thanks for the kindness” quotes can highlight the good doer’s effect on the bigger picture, too.

Being kind means responding to the needs of others—and people can be kind, no matter how old or young we are.”
Fred Rogers
You know someone is truly special when the most beautiful thing they have on is a kind soul.”
Matshona Dhliwayo
You know, some things don’t matter that much … like the color of a house. How big is that in the overall scheme of life? But lifting a person’s heart—now, that matters.”

Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees

Imagine splitting this quote in two on a “thank you” card. The first part of the quote can sit on the outside. Then, you can use “...but lifting a person’s heart—now, that matters” on the inside, along with a handwritten note.

A memorable heart is the easiest way to immortality.”
Suzy Kassem
Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness.”

Dalai Lama

With one simple quote, you can give thanks for someone’s generosity, compassion, love, and kindness.

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Famous kindness quotes that changed the world.

Kindness quotes by famous people come from speeches, rallies, autobiographies, essays, and literature. The most famous kindness quotes all earned their keep because they accomplish deep observations in a few words, and because they had a major impact when they were first uttered.

These kindness quotes by famous people come from figures you know, and many you probably admire. The power is in the quote, though, and its impact. Choose your favorites and Adobe Express can help you use them in cards, posters, flyers, banners, and more—no experience required.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

Aesop

Also translated as “a kindness is never wasted,” Aesop was a Greek storyteller credited with fables like “The Lion and the Mouse,” where this quote appeared. The quote is short, memorable, and forces us to ask, “Why not choose kindness?”

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt
How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”

God (Morgan Freeman), Evan Almighty

The reach of the 2007 film Evan Almighty gave this quote an instant boost to the podium of famous kindness quotes. Its delivery by Morgan Freeman is quite convincing.

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.”
Albert Schweitzer
When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.”

Harold S. Kushner

How does an act of kindness change your day? How does a practice of kindness change your life?

The path to true happiness is etched within, marked by self-acceptance and kindness.”

Aloo Denish Obiero

Self-compassion is something many people struggle to practice. Use this quote in a card or on a poster to help foster it.

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
Mahatma Gandhi
In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”
Clare Pooley , The Authenticity Project
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
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
Kindness is a language understood by all, transcending all barriers; speak it often and fluently.”

Aloo Denish Obiero

The simplest, smallest act of kindness that can transcend all borders is a smile.

Be a little kinder than you have to.”

E. Lockhart, We Were Liars

Aim high for consistent kindness and you’ll practice more kind acts than you ever imagined.

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”

Edith Wharton

When an act of kindness touches us, we can reflect that kindness back and it will shine over the giver and all our surroundings.

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

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this at a United Nations General Assembly in 2018. The context of this quote is the profound need for kindness world round.

A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward.”
William John Bennett
Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
Lao Tzu
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Short quotes about kindness that land with instantaneous impact.

Short kindness quotes are the go-to for projects with limited space, like flyers, banners, and social media graphics. No kindness quotes should short us on meaning, though, which is why these short quotes about kindness are exceptional. The world’s best thinkers, most influential leaders, and biggest personalities bottled the essence of kindness into quotes of 66 characters or less.

Use these short quotes in cards of encouragement, collages of treasured memories, and quick messages to friends and family. Which short kindness quote packs the biggest meaning for you?

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

Dalai Lama

The kindest path is always clear for you to take.

It takes courage to be kind.”

Maya Angelou

Angelou said this in an NBC interview and went on to describe the times when you choose kindness but those around you do not. It takes courage, she said, to consistently choose kindness even when others try to shame you out of it.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi
If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
Jack Kornfield
A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
William Arthur Ward
When words are both true and kind, they can change the world.”

Buddha

Kindness does not mean being dishonest. It means choosing the kind way to express yourself, because there’s always a kind way.

Being kind to others is a way of being good to yourself.”
Harold S. Kushner
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.”

Audrey Hepburn

The most irresistibly contagious form of kindness is a smile across your lips.

Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference.”
Helen James
If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”

Lucy Larcom

Kindness starts with you.

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

Dalai Lama

Look at how many kindness quotes in this collection come from the Dalai Lama. Clearly, kindness is his fundamental belief.

A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
William Arthur Ward
Forget injuries; never forget kindness.”

Confucius

They say that, for each negative thing we feel, it takes eight positive things to get over it. Kindness is a special brand of generosity, though, that can wipe out a dozen injuries.

We rise by lifting others.”

Robert Ingersoll

In the context of school, work, sporting events, social movements, and more, this quote is highly motivating. Imagine it on a flyer or banner for an event.

It doesn't cost me anything to be kind.”
Paddington
There is no wrong way to perform an act of kindness.”
Catherine Ryan Hyde , Pay It Forward
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Tips to use quotes on kindness.

You’re imagining your favorite kindness quotes in posters, flyers, cards, and collages. Is it that simple? Do you pick a quote and that’s it?

Kindness quotes can be used more effectively with a little added reflection. Think about:

Exercise: From kindness quotes to real-world practice.

Quotes about kindness are moving. They’re motivational. They give us pause and evoke real introspection.

As Kahlil Gibran said, “the smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.” Good quotes set us up with kind intentions, but practice is still practice.

Here's how to use kindness quotes to choose kindness every day:

Choose a quote about kindness you find meaningful
Picture specific scenarios it could be useful for
Put it somewhere you’ll see it (for example, in a collage, on a poster, or in a social media banner)
View the quote and repeat it back to yourself a few times each day
Reflect on your interactions at the end of a day, or a week … and take mental note of times you chose kindness and times you could have, but didn’t

Adobe Express can help.

Adobe Express has templates and customization tools to put your favorite kindness quotes to work. If you want to use kindness quotes in cards, letters, posters, banners, collages, or other creative projects, Adobe Express makes it as simple as picking a template and personalizing it, or making your own idea with easy-to-use tools. Whatever message you want to transmit, Adobe Express brings it to life, no experience required.

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