Selected Quotes about Service

Ethical religion can be real only to those who are engaged in ceaseless efforts at moral improvement. By moving upward we acquire faith in an upward movement, without limit. -- Felix Adler

To care for anyone else enough to make their problems one's own, is ever the beginning of one's real ethical development. -- Felix Adler

Do not be like servants who serve their masters expecting to receive a reward; be rather like servants who serve their master unconditionally, with no thought of reward. -- Antigonus

For the cause that lacks assistance, For the wrong that needs resistance, For the future in the distance, And the good that I can do. -- George Linnaeus Banks

Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it cares for its helpless members. -- Pearl Buck

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little. -- Edmund Burke

Giving frees us from the familiar territory of our own needs by opening our mind to the unexplained worlds occupied by the needs of others. -- Barbara Bush

A volunteer is a person who can see what others cannot see; who can feel what most do not feel. Often, such gifted persons do not think of themselves as volunteers, but as citizens - citizens in the fullest sense: partners in civilization. -- George Herbert Walker Bush

Common folk, not statesmen, nor generals nor great men of affairs, but just simple plain men and women, can do something to build a better, peaceful world. The future hope of peace lies with such personal …. service. -- Henry Cadbury

Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. People have the right to expect that these wants will be provided for by this wisdom. -- Jimmy Carter

He who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own. -- Confucius

While you are not able to serve men, how can you serve spirits [of the dead]? ... While you do not know life, how can you know about death? -- Confucius

There is a kind way of assisting our fellow-creatures which is enough to break their hearts while it saves their outer envelope. -- Joseph Conrad

If I can stop one heart from breaking, / I shall not live in vain. / If I can ease one life the aching, / Or cool one pain, / Or help one fainting robin / Unto his nest again, / I shall not live in vain. -- Emily Dickinson

If I can stop one heart from breaking I shall not live in vain If I can ease on Life the Aching Or cool one pain Or help one fainting Robin Unto his Nest again I shall not live in Vain. -- Emily Dickinson

Great services are not canceled by one act or by one single error. -- Benjamin Disraeli

To desire and strive to be of some service to the world, to aim at doing something which shall really increase the happiness and welfare and virtue of mankind - this is a choice which is possible for all of us; and surely it is a good haven to sail for. -- Henry Van Dyke

A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back -- but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you. -- Marian Wright Edelman

I'm doing what I think I was put on this earth to do. And I'm really grateful to have something that I'm passionate about and that I think is profoundly important. -- Marian Wright Edelman

It's time for greatness -- not for greed. It's a time for idealism -- not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action. -- Marian Wright Edelman

Service is the rent we pay to be living. It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time. -- Marian Wright Edelman

Service is what life is all about. -- Marian Wright Edelman

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee. -- Marian Wright Edelman

You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation. -- Marian Wright Edelman

You're not obligated to win. You're obligated to keep trying to do the best you can every day. -- Marian Wright Edelman

Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. -- Albert Einstein

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value. -- Albert Einstein

It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -- Anne Frank

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. -- Anne Frank

This is the Mission Statement of the Brighton District Society (which she created). -- Elizabeth Fry

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it. -- Margaret Fuller

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not. -- Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel)

Human life consists in mutual service. No grief, pain, misfortune, or "broken heart," is excuse for cutting off one's life while any power of service remains. But when all usefulness is over, when one is assured of an unavoidable and imminent death, it is the simplest of human rights to choose a quick and easy death in place of a slow and horrible one. -- Charlotte Perkins Gilman

The first duty of a human being is to assume the right functional relationship to society -- more briefly, to find your real job, and do it. -- Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Never forget that the purpose for which a man lives is the improvement of the man himself, so that he may go out of this world having, in his great sphere or his small one, done some little good for his fellow creatures and labored a little to diminish the sin and sorrow that are in the world. -- W. E. Gladstone

If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of 20 million full-time volunteers. -- Whoopi Goldberg

Life is so unfair that one is more likely to get into some sort of trouble than be rewarded if one attempts to do a good deed; many times one spends time and resources to help someone only to be totally ignored with not so much as a thank you. -- John P. Grier

Genuine politics -- even politics worthy of the name -- the only politics I am willing to devote myself to -- is simply a matter of serving those around us: serving the community and serving those who will come after us. Its deepest roots are moral because it is a responsibility expressed through action, to and for the whole. -- Vaclav Havel

I am loaded down to the guards with educational, benevolent, and other miscellaneous public work, I must not attempt to do more. I cannot without neglecting imperative duties. -- Rutherford B. Hayes

...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. -- Hubert Humphrey

Too old to plant trees for my own gratification, I shall do it for my posterity. -- Thomas Jefferson

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. -- Martin Luther King, jr.

Happiness cannot come from without. It must come from within. It is not what we see and touch or that which others do for us which makes us happy; it is that which we think and feel and do, first for the other fellow and then for ourselves. -- Helen Keller

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country. -- John F. Kennedy

As far as service goes, it can take the form of a million things. To do service, you don't have to be a doctor working in the slums for free, or become a social worker. Your position in life and what you do doesn't matter as much as how you do what you do. -- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. -- C. S. Lewis

Anticipate charity by preventing poverty; assist the reduced fellow man, either by a considerable gift or a sum of money or by teaching him a trade or by putting him in the way of business so that he may earn an honest livelihood and not be forced to the dreadful alternative of holding out his hand for charity. This is the highest step and summit of charity's golden ladder. -- Maimonides

The only certain means of is to render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be. -- Og Mandino

Kings and cabbages go back to compost, but good deeds stay green forever. -- Rick de Marinis

We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results. -- Herman Melville

Six essential qualities that are the key to success: Sincerity, personal integrity, humility, courtesy, wisdom, charity. -- William Menninger

If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day. -- Alex Noble

One act of beneficence, one act of real usefulness, is worth all the abstract sentiment in the world. -- Ann Radcliffe

There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done it well. -- Walter Reuther

When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? -- Eleanor Roosevelt

A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives. -- Albert Schweitzer

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. -- Albert Schweitzer

I don't know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. -- Albert Schweitzer

Be silent as to services you have rendered, but speak of favours you have received. -- Seneca

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family. -- George Bernard Shaw

My creed is that public service must be more than doing a job efficiently and honestly. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned, not bought. -- Margaret Chase Smith

Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow them. -- Madame de Stael

I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. -- Rabindranath Tagore

Don’t ask so much what the world needs. Go out and do what makes you come alive, because what the world needs most are people who have come alive. -- Howard Thurman

Joy can only be real only if people look upon their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. -- Leo Tolstoy

If you will think about what you ought to do for other people, your character will take care of itself. Character is a by-product, and any man who devotes himself to its cultivation in his own case will become a selfish prig. -- Woodrow Wilson

You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand. -- Woodrow Wilson

I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. -- Oprah Winfrey

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