Living, loving, giving

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.—Proverbs 11:25 NIV

You have been treated generously, so live generously.—Matthew 10:8 MSG

Remember, there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple.—Scott Adams (b. 1957)

You must give some time to your fellow men. Even if it’s a little thing, do something for others—something for which you get no pay but the privilege of doing it.—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.—Edward Everett Hale (1822–1909)

If only we could realize while we are yet mortals that day by day we are building for eternity, how different our lives in many ways would be! Every gentle word, every generous thought, every unselfish deed will become a pillar of eternal beauty in the life to come. We cannot be selfish and unloving in one life and generous and loving in the next. The two lives are too closely blended—one but a continuation of the other.—Rebecca Springer (1832–1904)1

St. Francis of Assisi stated, “All getting separates you from others; all giving unites you with others.” The heart of selflessness is generosity. It not only helps to unite the team, but it also helps to advance the team.—John C. Maxwell (b. 1947)

Human beings who leave behind them no great achievements, but only a sequence of small kindnesses, have not had wasted lives.—Charlotte Gray

Most of us can probably look forward to some extra attention on our birthday and other special occasions. But doesn’t it make you feel especially loved when, out of the blue, someone does some loving thing for you for no other reason than because he or she loves you?

Why not do the same for others? If you stop to think about it, you’d probably be surprised at how many thoughtful little things you could find to do for others that would cost almost nothing and take almost no time. Want to transform your relationships with family, friends, and workmates? Become a master of the five-minute favor.—Shannon Shaylor2

Do not think that love in order to be genuine has to be extraordinary. What we need is to love without getting tired. Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.—Mother Teresa (1910–1997)

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

In any given day, you have so many opportunities to practice patience, acts of kindness, and forgiveness. You have time to think loving thoughts, smile, embrace others, and practice gratitude. You can practice being a better listener. You can try to be compassionate, especially with difficult or abrasive people. You can practice your spirituality in virtually everything you do.—Richard Carlson (1961–2006)3

You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.—Henry Drummond (1851–1897)

Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
’Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another’s tears,
’Til in Heaven the deed appears—
Pass it on.
Henry Burton (1578–1648)

If we make our goal to live a life of compassion and unconditional love, then the world will indeed become a garden where all kinds of flowers can bloom and grow.—Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926–2004)

Good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.—Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892)

I do not pretend to give such a sum; I only lend it to you. When you […] meet with another honest man in similar distress, you must pay me by lending this sum to him; enjoining him to discharge the debt by a like operation, when he shall be able, and shall meet with another opportunity. I hope it may thus go thro’ many hands. … This is a trick of mine for doing a deal of good with a little money.—Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790), in a letter to Benjamin Webb

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.—Amelia Earhart (1897–1937 [presumed])

  1. Intra Muros, 1922
  2. Love’s Many Faces (Aurora Production, 2010)
  3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work (New York: Hyperion, 1998)