It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)
Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.
—John Wesley (1703–1791)
Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)
Freedom, morality, and the human dignity of the individual consists precisely in this; that he does good not because he is forced to do so, but because he freely conceives it, wants it, and loves it.
—Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876)
In life, you can never do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)
Goodness is love in action, love with its hand to the plow, love with the burden on its back, love following His footsteps who went about continually doing good.
Do not say that if the people do good to us, we will do good to them; and if the people oppress us, we will oppress them; but determine that if people do you good, you will do good to them; and if they oppress you, you will not oppress them.
Conquer a man who never gives by gifts; subdue an untruthful man by truthfulness; vanquish an angry man by gentleness; and overcome an evil man by goodness.
It is not what they profess but what they practice that makes them good.
The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955)
Good is a product of the ethical and spiritual artistry of individuals; it cannot be mass-produced.
—Aldous Huxley (1894–1963)
To be good is noble; but to show others how to be good is nobler and no trouble.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910)
Goodness is the only investment that never fails.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)
Practice, Practice, Practice
Life is not a holiday, but an education. What makes a person a good tennis player? Practice. What makes a person a good artist, a good sculptor, a good musician? Practice. What makes a person a good linguist? Practice. What makes a person a good person? Practice. Nothing else. If a person does not exercise his arm he develops no biceps muscle; and if a person does not exercise his soul, he acquires no muscle in his soul, no strength of character, no vigor of moral fiber, no beauty of spiritual growth.
Love is not a thing of enthusiastic emotion. It is a rich, strong, vigorous expression of the whole round Christian character—the Christlike nature in its fullest development. And the constituents of this great character are only to be built up by ceaseless practice.
—Adapted from Henry Drummond (1851–1897), Scottish evangelist, writer, and lecturer