45 Best Altruism Quotes To Inspire You

Altruism quotes inspire to be selfless.

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Altruism is the act of selfless concern for others' welfare.

Altruistic behavior is quite common in the animal world. It is when organisms show unselfish goodwill towards one another at the expense of their health and well-being.

History is witness to how a single human-being through their acts of altruism, can influence the society around them. Martin Luther King Jr. is an exemplary model. However, many authors differ in their opinions with regard to the "good" or "bad" nature of altruism. We cannot really pinpoint and say whether it is good or bad to be altruistic, but altruistic quotes and quotes about being selfless can give you some food for thought.

If you would like to read other articles with good quotes, you can check out The Giving Tree quotes and Understanding quotes.

Inspirational Altruism Quotes

Being selfless is being altruistic.

Here are some being selfless quotes and quotes about making a difference that'll move you to care for others.

1. "Where love, compassion, altruism, and justice have failed, genetic manipulation will not succeed."

-Gina Maranto.

2. "When we see social relationships controlled everywhere by the principles which Jesus illustrated in life -- trust, love, mercy, and altruism -- then we shall know that the kingdom of God is here."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

3. "Altruism itself depends on a recognition of the reality of other persons, and on the equivalent capacity to regard oneself as merely one individual among many."

- Thomas Nagel, 'The Possibility Of Altruism,' 1970.

4. "The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

-Nelson Henderson.

5. "What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."

-Albert Pike.

6. "The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning."

-Mitch Albom, 'Tuesdays With Morrie,' 1997.

7. "What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter. And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people's lives."

-Oprah Winfrey, Academy Of Achievement, 1991.

8. "As soon as your object of concern changes from yourself to someone else, your heart is released from the bondage of the self-cherishing thought."

-Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, 'The Door To Satisfaction: The Heart Advice of a Tibetan Buddhist Master,' 1994.

9. "Selflessness. It should be the basis of every relationship."

-Colleen Hoover, 'Confess,' 2015.

10. "It's that wonderful old-fashioned idea that others come first and you come second. This was the whole ethic by which I was brought up."

-Audrey Hepburn.

11. "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"

-Martin Luther King Jr., 'Strength to Love', 1963.

12. "Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

13. "If you want altruism, you must control hate and you must practice patience."

-The Dalai Lama.

14. "The root of happiness is altruism - the wish to be of service to others."

-The Dalai Lama, 'The Dalai Lama At Harvard,' 1988.

15. "Through universal altruism, you develop a feeling of responsibility for others: the wish to help them actively overcome their problems."

-The Dalai Lama, 'In My Own Words: An Introduction To His Teachings And Philosophy,' 2008.

Famous Quotes About Altruism

Altruism makes our life in society more congenial.

Here are some famous quotes about being altruistic and effective altruism quotes from prominent personalities.

16. "There is a growing movement called effective altruism. It's important because it combines both the heart and the head."

-Peter Singer, TED, 2013.

17. "Altruism is a fog created by sly minds seeking to benefit from the energy and skill of others."

-Ilona Andrews, 'Magic Strikes,' 2009.

18. "'A cigar,' said the altruist, 'a cigar, my good man, I cannot give you. But any time you need a light, just come around; mine is always lit.'"

-Karl Kraus.

19. "Most men have always wanted as much as they could get; and possession has always blunted the fine edge of their altruism."

-Katharine Fullerton Gerould, 'Modes And Morals,' 1920.

20. "Altruism is masked self-interest."

-Greg Bear, 'The Forge Of God,' 1987.

21. "Charity should be spontaneous. Calculated altruism is an affront."

-Edward Abbey, 'A Voice Crying In The Wilderness,' 1989.

22. "The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: 'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?' But the good Samaritan reversed the question: 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

-Martin Luther King Jr.

23. "Capitalism and altruism are incompatible; they are philosophical opposites; they cannot co-exist in the same man or in the same society."

-Ayn Rand, 'For The New Intellectual: The Philosophy Of Ayn Rand,' 1961.

24. "The most popular form of altruism is giving to others the advice you cannot use yourself."

-Evan Esar.

25. "Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."

-The Dalai Lama.

26. "Loving others is the greatest gift we can give ourselves. Altruism that rewards one's self."

-Allan Lokos, 'Pocket Peace: Effective Practices For Enlightened Living,' 2010.

27. "We have so far to go to realize our human potential for compassion, altruism, and love."

-Jane Goodall, 'Harvest For Hope: A Guide To Mindful Eating,' 2005.

28. "Wikipedia flourished partly because it was a shrine to altruism."

-Nicholson Baker.

29. "Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others."

-Brian Tracy.

30. "Altruism is innate, but it's not instinctual."

-David Rakoff.

31. "Altruism is an instinct for survival that may be in our genes--an internal force for goodness in everyone that begins with birth."

-James R. Ozinga, 'Altruism,' 1999.

32. "Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you."

-Karl Lagerfeld.

33. "Of all the nonsense that twists the world, the concept of 'altruism' is the worst. People do what they want to, every time."

-Robert A. Heinlein, 'Stranger In A Strange Land,' 1961.

34. "Gratitude: An imaginary emotion that rewards an imaginary behavior, altruism."

-Robert A. Heinlein, 'To Sail Beyond The Sunset,' 1987.

35. "If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject."

-Ayn Rand, 'Philosophy: Who Needs It,' 1982.

36. "Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive."

-Ayn Rand, 'For The New Intellectual: The Philosophy Of Ayn Rand,' 1961.

37. "Yet true happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment, which in turn must be achieved through the cultivation of altruism, of love and compassion and elimination of ignorance, selfishness and greed."

-The Dalai Lama in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1989.

Altruism Quotes From Biology

Altruism has been one of Biology's major areas of study to investigate evolution.

38. "Individual versus group selection results in a mix of altruism and selfishness, of virtue and sin, among the members of a society."

-Edward O. Wilson, 'The Social Conquest Of Earth,' 2012.

39. "Altruism has always been one of biology's deep mysteries."

-Lewis Thomas, 'Late Night Thoughts On Listening To Mahler's Ninth Symphony,' 1983.

40. "It often turns out on closer inspection that acts of apparent altruism are really selfishness in disguise."

-Richard Dawkins, 'The Selfish Gene,' 1976.

41. "Altruism is not a moral or religious ideal, no matter what some people might tell you. It is an essential, biological part of who or what we are as a species."

-Bill Nye, 'Undeniable: Evolution And The Science Of Creation,' 2014.

42. "Maybe altruism is our most primitive attribute out of reach, beyond our control."

-Lewis Thomas, 'The Medusa And The Snail: More Notes Of A Biology Watcher,' 1974.

43. "Altruism, a jargon word for what used to be called love, is worse than weakness, it is sin, a violation of nature. Be separate. Do not be a social animal."

-Lewis Thomas, 'The Medusa And The Snail: More Notes Of A Biology Watcher,' 1974.

44. "Animals have genes for altruism, and those genes have been selected in the evolution of many creatures because of the advantage they confer for the continuing survival of the species."

-Lewis Thomas, 'Late Night Thoughts On Listening To Mahler's Ninth Symphony,' 1983.

45. "Let us try to teach generosity and altruism because we are born selfish."

-Richard Dawkins, 'The Selfish Gene,' 1976.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Best Altruism Quotes then why not take a look at You Matter Quotes, or You Get What You Give Quotes.


Written By

Kidadl Team

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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