196+ Compassion Quotes

Compassion is a feeling of kindness, understanding and caring for someone else. In a world where it can be hard to find goodness, compassion can be a beacon of hope. These meaningful compassion quotes will provide you with the motivation and inspiration to show compassion towards others and help make the world a better place.

Compassion is the cornerstone of humanity, and sometimes, when you feel lost, the words of others can provide a compass. Here are some powerful compassion quotes that may inspire and uplift you in your journey of self-discovery.

Best Compassion Quotes

There never was any heart truly great and generous, that was not also tender and compassionate. Bishop Robert South

Empathy is a connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole. Brene Brown

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

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.  Mother Teresa

Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world. Barack Obama

Whether it is rational or empirical, your approach to life must always be empathetic. Emotional intelligence is acquired when knowledge and empathy are combined and applied to situations regularly in everyday life. Stewart Stafford

Empathy is a connection; it’s a ladder out of the shame hole. Brené Brown

If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Teresa

In separateness lies the world’s great misery, in compassion lies the world’s true strength. Buddha

Life is an exciting business, and most exciting when it is lived for others. Helen Keller

Empathy requires knowing that you know nothing. Leslie Jamison

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion. Dalai Lama

If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Frederick Buechner

It is in deep solitude that I find the gentleness with which I can truly love my brothers. Thomas Merton

This capacity for empathy leads to a genuine encounter we have to progress toward this culture of encounter in which heart speaks to heart. Pope Francis

The only time you look in your neighbor’s bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don’t look in your neighbor’s bowl to see if you have as much as them. Louis C.K.

Empathy is how kind hearts breathe. Nitya Prakash

Empathy may be the single most important quality that must be nurtured to give peace a fighting chance. Arundhati Ray

The greatest cruelty is our casual blindness to the despair of others. Anonymous

A focus on empathy is just what is needed to make the world a better place for all animals, humans, and nonhuman alike. Marc Bekoff

It is a lack of love for ourselves that inhibits our compassion toward others. If we make friends with ourselves, then there is no obstacle to opening our hearts and minds to others. Anonymous

We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers from Prison

It doesn’t hurt to show some empathy. John Cornyn

Compassion, in which all ethics must take root, can only attain its full breadth and depth if it embraces all living creatures and does not limit itself to mankind. Albert Schweitzer

Money is not the root of all evil. A lack of empathy is. Cole Todd

Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves. Pema Chodron

Empathetic presence involves listening to someone’s pain with what I call the five A’s: attention, acceptance, appreciation, affection, and allowing. David Richo

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up. Jesse Jackson

If we can get man to the moon, we can get man to walk in each other’s shoes. Mary Gordon

Taking time to relax every day, spending quality time with friends, and practicing mindfulness are some of the tried and tested ways of developing self-compassion. Dr. Prem Jagyasi

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Compassion for others begins with kindness to ourselves. Pema Chodron

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

The opposite of anger is not calmness, its empathy. Mehmet Oz

Empathy means both understanding others on their own terms and bringing them within the orbit of one’s own experience. Jacob A. Belzen

Empathy is really the opposite of spiritual meanness. It’s the capacity to understand that every war is both won and lost. And that someone else’s pain is as meaningful as your own. Barbara Kingsolver

Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness Kristen Neff

One of the most important aspects of being a human being, is being able to be in a relationship. Being able to successfully form and maintain a relationship. And at the heart of that capability is the capacity to put yourself in somebody else’s shoes, to see the world as how they see it. That capacity is empathy. Bruce Perry

Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care. Theodore Roosevelt

There’s no such things as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. Scott Adams

Our task must be to free ourselves… by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and it’s beauty.  Albert Einstein

Never lose a chance of saying a kind word. William Makepeace Thackeray

Judge tenderly, if you must. There is usually a side you have not heard, a story you know nothing about, and a battle waged that you do not have to fight. Traci Lea Larussa

Extend yourself in kindness to other human being wherever you can. Oprah Winfrey

The highest form of knowledge is empathy. Bill Bullard

Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life. Jackie Chan

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

I believe empathy is the most essential quality of civilization. Roger Ebert

Taking time to reflect and ponder on the powerful messages within inspiring forgiveness quotes can encourage you.

Famous Compassion Quotes

It is a man’s sympathy with all creatures that truly makes him a man. Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man himself will not find peace. Albert Schweitzer

That is what compassion does. It challenges our assumptions, our sense of self-limitation, worthlessness, of not having a place in the world. As we develop compassion, our hearts open. Sharon Salzberg

A small child showing empathy.

A truly compassionate attitude toward others does not change even if they behave negatively or hurt you.  Dalai Lama XIV

Until you have real compassion, you cannot recognize love. Bob Thurman

Love is about bottomless empathy, born out of the heart’s revelation that another person is every bit as real as you are. Jonathan Franzen

To embrace suffering culminates in greater empathy, the capacity to feel what it is like for the other to suffer, which is the ground for unsentimental compassion and love. Stephen Bachelor

If you find yourself saying ‘But I’m just being honest’, chances are you’ve just been unkind. Honesty doesn’t heal. Empathy does. Dan Waldschmidt

A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward. William John Bennett

You should not judge; you should understand. Ernest Hemingway

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When good people consider you the bad guy, you develop a heart to help the bad ones. You actually understand them. Criss Jami

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, when you do criticize him, you’ll be a mile away and have his shoes. Steve Martin

We need to teach our children empathy and care and love and communication and social responsibility in preparation for adulthood. Maya Soetoro-Ng

Empathy nurtures wisdom. Apathy cultivates ignorance. Suzy Kassem

Wearing another’s skin is the most effective way to learn sympathy. AG Howard

Kindness is not about instant gratification. More often, it’s akin to a low-risk investment that appreciates steadily over time. Josh Radnor

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

Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.  Mohsin Hamid

In compassion, when we feel with the other, we dethrone ourselves from the center of our world and we put another person there. Karen Armstrong

I always think that if you look at anyone in detail, you will have empathy for them because you recognize them as a human being, no matter what they’ve done. Andrea Arnold

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Compassion automatically brings happiness and calmness. Then, even if you receive disturbing news, it will be easier to take, as your mind is still. Dalai Lama

Compassion is the basis of morality.  Arthur Schopenhauer

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

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

One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding is sufficient. Charles M. Blow

When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.  Maya Angelou

Compassion is the basis of all morality. Arthur Schopenhauer

The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart. Rasheed Ogonlaru

Drop the people who do not value you, respect you. Life has infinite horizons. Accept yourself, love yourself, and move forward. Amit Ray

What you don’t realize is that the world does not need more perfection. It needs more compassion and empathy. Tessa Dare

The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy, we can all sense a mysterious connection to each other. Meryl Streep

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

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

As mentioned earlier, compassion and empathy are two different things. But they do go hand in hand. There can be no compassion if there is no empathy, and one cannot empathize if he doesn’t know compassion.

Until you have real compassion, you can not recognize love. Bob Thurman

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Each person you meet is an aspect of yourself, clamoring for love. Eric Micha’el Leventhal

Many of life lessons condense wisdom into blessed and thankful quotes that are meaningful and inspirational.

Powerful Compassion Quotes

When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen. Ernest Hemingway

No one reaches out to you for compassion or empathy so you can teach them how to behave better. They reach out to us because they believe in our capacity to know our darkness well enough to sit in the dark with them. Brene Brown

Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation. Henry Ward Beecher

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

Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change. Bob Kerrey

If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete. Anonymous

Compassion is to look beyond your own pain, to see the pain of others. Yasmin Mogahed

We cannot transform negativity into the positive without empathy, and we cannot truly understand empathy without experiencing it in our present life, in our past, and in our future. Brian L. Weiss

If you look into someone’s face long enough, eventually you’re going to feel that you’re looking at yourself. Paul Auster

Anyone who has experienced a certain amount of loss in their life has empathy for those who have experienced loss. Anderson Cooper

Empathy represents the foundation skill for all the social competencies important for work. Daniel Goleman

For us to feel good emotionally, we have to look after ourselves. Sam Owen

Empathy is the gateway; compassion is the way. Scott Perry

The state of empathy, or being empathic, is to perceive the internal frame of reference of another with accuracy and with the emotional components and meanings which pertain thereto as if one were the person. Carl Roger

Empathy depends not only on one’s ability to identify someone else’s emotions but also on one’s capacity to put oneself in the other person’s place and to experience an appropriate emotional response. Charles G. Morris

There’s something in everyone only they know. Ben Harper

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

The little things you do can be very significant to others. Wayne Gerard Trotman

Whenever you are about to find fault with someone, ask yourself the following question: What fault of mine most nearly resembles the one I am about to criticize? Marcus Aurelius

Compassion is at the heart of every little thing we do. It is the dearest quality we possess. Yet all too often it can be cast aside with consequences too tragic to speak of. To lose our compassion, we lose what it is to be human. Anonymous

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Love and compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this, we do not need to believe in any religion. Dalai Lama

Empathy speaks to us in those silent moments, away from our wounded ego and our wondering heart, in those empty spaces where questions run riot like lost and rejected soldiers… it tells us that each soul is worthy, valued, loved, and honored and we only ever need to face our own shadows, our own pain… and to be our own mirror. Christine Evangelou

When we give ourselves compassion, we are opening our hearts in a way that can transform our lives. Kristin Neff

If it is not tempered by compassion, and empathy, reason can lead men and women into a moral void. Karen Armstrong

We can’t heal the world today but we can begin with a voice of compassion, a heart of love, an act of kindness. Mary Davis

Our sorrows and wounds are healed only when we touch them with compassion. Jack Kornfield

Empathy begins with understanding life from another person’s perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It’s all through our own individual prisms. Sterling K. Brown

We need to understand the other side to impact the other side. We become much more effective as humans and leaders when we engage in hearty conversations with those who are different from us, not necessarily to change our opinions, but to build the empathy muscle. Daniel Lubetzky

If bullies actually believe that somebody loves them and believes in them, they will love themselves, they will become better people, and many will even become saviors to the bullied. Dan Pearce

When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems. Stephen Covey

One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone. Shannon L. Alder

Experiencing terrible pain opens our hearts and minds to express compassion for other people and communion with ourselves. Kilroy J. Oldster

Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe. Homer

Compassion is about giving all the love that you’ve got. Cheryl Strayed

Having compassion for yourself means that you honor and accept your humanness. Kristen Neff

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. Plato

Empathy is the starting point for creating a community and taking action. It’s the impetus for creating change. Max Carver

Let our hearts be stretched out in compassion toward others, for everyone is walking his or her own difficult path. Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Empathy is a respectful understanding of what others are experiencing. Marshall B. Rosenberg

Compassion is the wish to see others free from suffering. Dalai Lama

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

Empathy is one of humankind’s prized possessions. Acts of consideration and kindness are inevitable when a person can mentally step into someone else’s shoes. Even if it’s just for a moment. Izey Victoria Odiaze

When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you. Susan Sarandon

The greater good is achieved by not only telling people what they need to know but also filling them with a sense of empathy and love. Abigail Disney

Sometimes all a person wants is an empathetic ear; all he or she needs is to talk it out. Just offering a listening ear and an understanding heart for his or her suffering can be a big comfort. Roy T. Bennett

The seeds of care and empathy are built into every human being and a variety of soils and fertilizers will allow those same seeds to grow and flourish. Gudjon Bergman

Empathy is like giving someone a psychological hug. Lawrence J.

Compassion is an action word with no boundaries. Prince

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.  John Holmes

Empathy is forgetting oneself in the joys and sorrows of another, so much so that you actually feel that the joy or sorrow experienced by another is your own joy and sorrow. Empathy involves complete identification with another.  Dada Vaswani

Just like empathy, people sometimes confuse kindness with compassion. But again, they are two different things. If compassion is a strong desire you feel regarding other people’s feelings, then kindness is the act that you do to help them get through hard times.

Compassion is the radicalism of our time. Dalai Lama

Compassion is the basis of all morality Arthur Schopenhauer

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

Taking the time to look to inspirational authenticity quotes can help keep the flame of positivity burning bright within your life.

Motivational Compassion Quotes

Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves. Mason Cooley

The wonderful thing is that it’s so incredibly easy to be kind. Ingrid Newkirk

It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act. Dalai Lama

We are all different. Don’t judge, understand instead.  Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

An exchange of empathy provides an entry point for a lot of people to see what healing feels like. Tarana Burke

It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance. Dalai Lama

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up. Jesse Jackson

A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal. Steve Maraboli

Whenever you feel like criticizing any one…just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had. F. Scott Fitzgerald

Kindness begins with the understanding that we all struggle. Charles Glassman

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All men are born firstly with the instinct to protect themselves. But few grow to really love themselves, and even fewer learn to love their neighbor as themselves. Criss Jami

I think we all have empathy. We may not have enough courage to display it. Maya Angelou

The real test of love is loving those who we feel are the hardest ones to love. Criss Jami

I love this life and even if to be taken from me, I will love that you have yours. Cherish all life, for life, is worth cherishing. Tom Althouse

You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself. John Steinbeck

We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer. Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It is an absolute human certainty that no one can know his own beauty or perceive a sense of his own worth until it has been reflected back to him in the mirror of another loving, caring human being. John Joseph Powell

If you judge people, you have no time to love them. Mother Theresa

Even suffering when wrapped in love, seems tolerable. Bangambiki Habyarimana

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart. Tahereh Mafi

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Love and Compassion are the true religions to me. But to develop this, we do not need to believe in any religion.  Dalai Lama XIV

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. Henri Nouwen

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up. John Holmes

All I ever wanted was to reach out and touch another human being not just with my hands but with my heart.  Tahereh Mafi

Empathy comes from the Greek empatheia em (into) and pathos (feeling) a penetration, a kind of travel. It suggests you enter another person’s pain as you’d enter another country, through immigration and customs, border crossing by way of query: What grows where you are? What are the laws? What animals graze there? Leslie Jamison

Use your voice for kindness, your ears for compassion, your hands for charity, your mind for truth, and your heart for love. Anonymous

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. Thomas Merton

Don’t change your self-criticism habit. Change your habitual reactions to self-criticism. Yong Kang Chan

Compassion is a passion with a heart. Anonymous

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their suffering. Some suffer too much, others too little. Buddha

It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.  Mahatma Gandhi

Love, empathy, kindness, and compassion are parts of our basic nature. As humans, it is inherently natural for us to exhibit these feelings; it is just their discovery and maintenance that makes the difference.

I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person. Walt Whitman

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-compassion is like a muscle. The more we practice flexing it, especially when life doesn’t go exactly according to plan (a frequent scenario for most of us), the stronger and more resilient our compassion muscle becomes. Sharon Salzberg

Make no judgments where you have no compassion. Anne McCaffrey

No matter who we are, no matter how successful, no matter what our situation, compassion is something we all need to receive and give. Catherine Pulsifer

Empathy is the greatest virtue. From it, all virtues flow. Without it, all virtues are an act. Eric Zorn

When we match compassion with purpose, we being to conquer the world. Zachariah Thompson

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

It is not easy to bear someone else’s suffering or feel someone else’s heartbreak. But with a heart of pure kindness, it is possible to feel empathy.

Practicing kindness increases our ability to be empathetic. It helps keep our hearts open. And that, truly, is the best way to live. Kristi Bowman

You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force. Publilius Syrus

There is no such thing as tough love. Love is kind, love is compassionate, love is tender. Heather Wolf

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eye for an instant? Henry David Thoreau

Compassion is the greatest form of love humans have to offer. Rachael Joy Scott

Compassion is a foundation for sharing our aliveness and building a more humane world. Martin Lowenthal

Enjoy some motivating pay it forward quotes.