Inspiration

Here are some wonderful words to help inspire and encourage you to treat all people with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness (RECK), and to work to help make this century one defined by compassion. These are general quotes on a variety of topics. For quotes on specific values or topics, please check out some of our other quotes pages. We’re adding new quotes all the time, so keep checking back!

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead

“Live your bigger purpose. Practice your better principles. You can be as awesome as you set your mind to being!” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go.” -Fred Rogers

“It’s hard when someone you love is having a hard time and you don’t know what to do. Letting them know you care is a good place to start… and sometimes it’s enough.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” -John Donne

“Understanding feels better than judging.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“The trouble is that not enough people have come together with the firm determination to live the things which they say they believe.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“Make peace.
Spread love.
Have hope.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Blessed are those who give without remembering and take without forgetting.” -Elizabeth Bibesco

“Each day is a clean slate. A new opportunity to reinvent yourself as the person you want to be. Be your best self!” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Studies show that people who practice gratitude are generally happier than the average population. Here’s a simple gratitude practice you can do to help end each day on a positive note: When you’re lying in bed at night about to fall asleep, try to look back on your day and list all of the events and people you were grateful for that day. It will help you drift off to sleep thinking happy thoughts. And it sure beats worrying yourself to sleep!” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“I aspire to be a giver. A giver of love, a giver of good vibes, and a giver of strength.” -Unknown

“Sometimes it can be a little daunting to face the start of a new work week. Add a little fun to your week by setting a goal of trying to brighten at least one person’s day, each day. Maybe you could compliment someone’s attire or do something nice for other people in your office. By keeping your focus on others it helps to take your focus off of yourself and acts to reduce your stress level.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility.” -Thomas S. Monson

“Imagine a world without bigotry and racism. It is possible, if we can reach the hearts and minds of those gripped by bigotry and help them understand that we are all basically the same. We all long for love and the opportunity to live our best lives. We all deserve to be treated with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness. Hearts and minds can change, it happens every day.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“You can’t shake hands with a clenched fist.” -Indira Gandhi, first female Indian Prime Minister

“Whether you realize it or not, if you are simply living a good life as a kind and caring person then you are a force for positive change in the world. Our world is changed through a million small acts, and the small acts of kindness and compassion that you do every day add up to something. You are the change we all want to see in the world. So, you be you. Go you!” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“It’s not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” -Audre Lorde, Writer, Activist & Poet

“We all lead busy lives. Sometimes it can be challenging to slow down and connect with people. When was the last time you truly connected with someone outside your immediate family, or maybe even within it? If it’s been a while then make it a goal for yourself today to simply slow down and have a thoughtful conversation with someone. Let them know that you are interested in them and how they are doing. You never know, you might completely turn their day around. Heck, you might completely turn YOUR day around!” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Some people think words don’t matter. They think the ways we treat one another don’t matter. At Century of Compassion we feel differently. We believe that changing the world for the better begins with human beings thinking about and treating one another better. Human rights and equality start with respecting all people and grow from empathizing with others, having genuine compassion for their suffering, and working to relieve that suffering.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“How might our world look differently if all men respected all women? We’d probably see more women in leadership. More women leading Fortune 500 companies. If men respected women’s bodies and wishes then we could see an end to sexual abuse. Respect is more essential a quality than we often give it credit for being. Yet our world could be beautifully and radically transformed through it.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” -L.R. Knost, Author

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“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

“Its okay to have conflict. Being a kind and compassionate person does not mean that we must avoid conflict at all costs. We are still worthy of being heard and having our needs met. What’s important is that we approach conflict with the desire to empathize with the other person or people and work to help them feel valued as well. Conflict can be healthy. It can help our relationships grow. Embrace it and work through it.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.” -John Ruskin

“Ask yourself, ‘When was the last time I thanked someone who cares about me, for being in my life? When was the last time I expressed gratitude for their love?’ Though we often think about how lucky we are to have a certain person in our life, we can forget to let the person know that we do not take their love for granted. When you are moved by this feeling of gratitude, express it. You might be surprised to learn that the person didn’t realize how you were feeling inside. You might just make their day!” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“One of the greatest gifts we can give children is our empathy. We need to remember that kids are not miniature adults, but beings who are new to the world and still struggling to figure it all out. The world can be a frightening and overwhelming place. Through patience and remembering what life was like for us when we were children, we can better understand and relate to them. Every moment you invest in a child is time well spent.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.” -Henri J.M. Nouwen

“No matter what your beliefs, believe in treating all people with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
What we think, we become.
My father always said that.” -Meryl Streep speaking as Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady”

“I have just one enemy and that enemy is hatred. And I will fight that enemy with everything I’ve got.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“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 Kubler-Ross

“Racism is a scourge upon our great nation. The United States must work to educate our citizens to have tolerance and respect for all people. Diversity is part of what makes our nation great and we should honor and cherish it.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.” -Dorothy Thompson, US Journalist & Radio Broadcaster

“If we want to change the world, then we need to start by changing ourselves. If we go out into the world treating others with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness – even when we disagree with them – we send a powerful message that we value others and that they should value others in kind. Ultimately, by changing ourselves, we ARE changing the world.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Kindness is a universal language regardless of age, nationality, or religion.” -Alex Ferguson

“We need to condition ourselves to see everyone as worthy of our love and respect, and as whole human beings equal to and similar to ourselves. This way, when we are faced with conflict we approach the situation with a sense of calm and a desire to reach a solution that appeals to everyone. We can make this world a better place one relationship and one interaction at a time.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Peace is not the absence of conflict, but the presence of creative alternatives for responding to conflict — alternatives to passive or aggressive responses, alternatives to violence.” -Dorothy Thompson, US Journalist & Radio Broadcaster

“We’re fooling ourselves if we think we can go on treating each other the same way humans have always treated one another and this world is ever going to change for the better. We need to treat each other with more respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness. We need to change. Then the world will too.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion

“Throughout history, time and again, there are examples of what happens when humans fail to treat all people with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness (RECK). From schoolyard bullies to brutal dictators, harm and catastrophe follow lack of adherence to these four simple principles.” -Matthew Vasko, Founder, Century of Compassion