Kindness Quotes that Teach Kids to Care | Roots of Action

Kindness quotes and famous remarks about empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and peace help engage children in meaningful conversations about themselves. Through these discussions, we teach kids about the true essence of the human spirit.  

Empathy is the ability to recognize, feel, and respond to the needs and suffering of others. It facilitates the expression of caring, compassion, and kindness. Empathy helps youth see the outward impact of their actions in developing a just and sustainable world for everyone.

Parents and teachers influence young people’s abilities to care for others beyond themselves by creating meaningful relationships with them—by ensuring youth are seen, felt, and understood. When adults expose young people to different worldviews and encourage them to do meaningful community service, youth develop higher levels of empathy and compassion.

Unfortunately, empathy is on the decline. Research shows that today’s teens are 40 percent less empathetic than they were 30 years ago. This lack of empathy goes hand-in-hand with bullying, self-absorption, and less resilience.

Kindness quotes can help children understand empathy in new ways – to discover how generosity, patience, forgiveness, tolerance, civic-mindedness, caring, and compassion are vital to peace and human understanding. Wise people throughout history have talked about the importance of empathy, from the Classical Greek philosopher Plato to modern TV personalities like Ellen DeGeneres. Research shows that empathy is one of eight core abilities that drive successful kids.

This article is the last of a nine-part series on how adults can promote learning and development using inspiring quotes for kids. You may wish to read the introductory article to learn how the collection of 200 quotes are related to The Compass Advantage, a framework for positive youth development.

The following kindness quotes are short, simple, and memorable. Children from elementary through high school will find meaning in these quotes appropriate to their level of development and understanding.

25 Kid-Friendly Kindness Quotes to Inspire Empathy

Kindness Quotes that Teach Kids to Care | Roots of Action

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

Jesse Jackson

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

Mother Teresa

Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins.

Barack Obama

If you see someone without a smile, give them one of yours.

Dolly Parton

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

Albert Schweitzer

I learned compassion from being discriminated against. Everything bad that’s ever happened to me has taught me compassion.

Ellen DeGeneres

When a good man is hurt, all who would be called good must suffer with him.


If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own.

Henry Ford

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.

Albert Einstein

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.

Margaret Mead

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

John Steinbeck

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

Arundhati Ray

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


Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

Dalai Lama

If you want to lift yourself up, lift someone else up.

Booker T. Washington

Always stop to think whether your fun may be the cause of another’s unhappiness.


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

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

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

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

Dalai Lama

The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.

A.A. Milne

We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.

Martin Luther King Jr.

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, to forgive.

Maya Angelou

Kindness Quotes that Teach Kids to Care | Roots of Action

Kindness Quotes: Discussion Starters

The following discussion starters are just a few of many that can be used by parents, teachers, and after-school program leaders to engage children with quotes about kindness and empathy.

  • How would you define empathy?
  • What are your favorite empathy and kindness quotes from the list? Why?
  • Share a story about a time someone was kind and caring to you. What do you remember? How did you feel? If you could thank that person right now for their kindness, what would you say?
  • Do you see yourself as a kind, caring person? Why or why not?
  • What are some of the many ways people express empathy in their everyday lives?
  • What are the positives and negatives of being empathetic?
  • How do people learn to develop empathy?  

Empathy in Action

  • In what ways could your empathy and kindness help others?
  • What problems in the world, such as those related to racism or bullying, would empathy help contribute to solutions? 

Articles in the “Quotes for Kids” Series 

Quotes for Kids That Promote Healthy Development (Series Introduction)

Quotes About Curiosity That Inspire Kids’ Life-Long Learning (Curiosity)

Motivational Quotes for Kids That Help Build Positive Relationships (Sociability)

Quotes About Resilience That Foster Children’s Determination and Self-Confidence (Resilience)

Self-Awareness Quotes That Help Kids Explore Their Inner Selves (Self-Awareness)

Integrity Quotes That Teach Kids the Importance of Character (Integrity)

Quotes about Goals That Motivate Kids Toward Success (Resourcefulness)

Creativity Quotes That Inspire Kids’ Inner Genius (Creativity)

Kindness Quotes That Teach Kids to Care (Empathy)

Kindness Quotes That Teach Kids to Care | Roots of Action

Published: October 17, 2018