62 Compassion Quotes: A Guide to a Kinder and More Loving Life

With more compassionate thoughts and actions you can live a kinder, happier and more loving life.

So today I’d like to share a collection of the top compassion quotes of all time.

In this post you will for example learn:

  • Why self-absorption makes us unhappier (and also kills our capacity for compassion).
  • What compassion means for building deeper relationships.
  • How to be more self-compassionate and kind to yourself.

These thoughts that stretch back over 2400 years in time is the timeless wisdom of the people who walked this earth long before us (and some who are still with us here today).

And if you want even more inspiration and wise advice then check out this post with quotes about on inner peace and this one with helpful quotes about regret.

Uplifting Quotes on Compassion

Uplifting Quotes on Compassion

“Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life you will have been all of these.”
George Washington Carver

“Compassion, empathy, and love are the real pillars we need to build within ourselves to become human.”
Loknath

“There is no small act of kindness. Every compassionate act makes large the world.”
Mary Anne Radmacher

“Have compassion and empathy in your heart. Many people are suffering deep emotional anguish beneath the surface of their lives, and smile even as they hurt inside.”
Jim Palmer

“Self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. When we focus on ourselves, our world contracts as our problems and preoccupations loom large. But when we focus on others, our world expands. Our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection – or compassionate action.”
Daniel Goleman

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.”
Albert Schweitzer

“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

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

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It's a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
Pema Chödrön

“In Asian languages, the word for ‘mind' and the word for ‘heart' are the same. So if you're not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you're not really understanding it. Compassion and kindness towards oneself are intrinsically woven into it. You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes.”
Elvis Presley

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm, as you get older, remember you have another hand: The first is to help yourself, the second is to help others.”
Sam Levenson

“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
Joseph Fort Newton

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

“The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful then a thousand heads bowing in prayer.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Compassion does not just happen. Pity does, but compassion is not pity. It's not a feeling. Compassion is a viewpoint, a way of life, a perspective, a habit that becomes a discipline – and more than anything else, compassion is a choice we make that love is more important than comfort or convenience.”
Glennon Doyle Melton

“Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”
Frederick Buechner

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life's search for love and wisdom.”
Rumi

“In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It's when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it's almost incomprehensible.”
Sarah McBride

“True compassion means not only feeling another's pain but also being moved to help relieve it.”
Daniel Goleman

“Some people think only intellect counts: knowing how to solve problems, knowing how to get by, knowing how to identify an advantage and seize it. But the functions of intellect are insufficient without courage, love, friendship, compassion, and empathy.”
Dean Koontz

“Mindfulness is about love and loving life. When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.”
Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Albert Schweitzer

“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

“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.”
Nelson Mandela

“We can learn the art of fierce compassion – redefining strength, deconstructing isolation and renewing a sense of community, practicing letting go of rigid us-vs.-them thinking – while cultivating power and clarity in response to difficult situations.”
Sharon Salzberg

“One friend, one person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider a problem, can change our whole outlook on the world.”
E. H. Mayoli

“There are no greater treasures than the highest human qualities such as compassion, courage and hope. Not even tragic accident or disaster can destroy such treasures of the heart.”
Daisaku Ikeda

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive.”
Dalai Lama

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
Plato

Quotes on Self-Compassion and Loving Yourself

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”
Christopher Germer

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
Jack Kornfield

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
Buddha

“I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren't more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
Kristen Neff

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
Anne Lamott

“Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
Brené Brown

“You have been criticizing yourself for years, and it hasn't worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.”
Louise L. Hay

“When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.”
Jean Shinoda Bolen

“This is a moment of suffering. Suffering is part of life. May I be kind to myself. May I give myself the compassion I need.”
Kristen Neff

“Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.”
Tara Brach

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Lucille Ball

“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

“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”
Stephen Covey

“Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward. If you want to fly, you have to give up what weighs you down.”
Roy T. Bennett

“Lack of forgiveness causes almost all of our self-sabotaging behavior.”
Mark Victor Hansen

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.”
Brian Andreas

“If you don’t love yourself, you cannot love others. You will not be able to love others. If you have no compassion for yourself then you are not capable of developing compassion for others.”
Dalai Lama

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.”
Anna Taylor

“Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“When I loved myself enough, I began leaving whatever wasn't healthy. This meant people, jobs, my own beliefs and habits – anything that kept me small. My judgement called it disloyal. Now I see it as self-loving.”
Kim McMillen

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
Mark Twain

“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”
Deborah Day

“Once you embrace your value, talents and strengths, it neutralizes when others think less of you.”
Rob Liano

“People who love themselves, don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.”
Dan Pearce

“If you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself.”
Dalai Lama

“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn't ask me, I'd still have to say it.”
George Burns

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.”
Brené Brown

“To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.”
Robert Morley

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours – it is an amazing journey – and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.”
Bob Moawad

About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehack, The Huffington Post and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Compassion for others is what makes us human. It is our ability to express empathy for others that makes us who we are.
    Thank you for these quotes to remind us about the importance of compassion.
    Jason Andrew