Quotations about   philanthropy

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The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.

Thomas Paine (1737-1809) American political philosopher and writer
(Attributed)

This is widely attributed to Paine, in respectable sources, and usually (when a source is given) from The Rights of Man (1791) or The Age of Reason (1795). But a search of the text of the latter shows none of the three clauses appear in it. In The Rights of Man, Paine did write, "My country is the world, and my religion is to do good," which is close but not the same (and is sometimes cited with the different word order of the subject quote).

The three clauses appear (with a fourth, "I believe in One God and no more") on the 1923 plaque at the location of Paine's last residence, on Grove St. in Greenwich Village, NY, but with no citation (though one is sometimes applied). But the attribution of this phrase to Paine (including citing it to The Age of Reason) predates the plaque (e.g., 1913). I've not been able to find a reliable citation for this quote.
Added on 6-Aug-20 | Last updated 6-Aug-20
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The worst days of darkness through which I have ever passed have been greatly alleviated by throwing myself with all my energy into some work relating to others.

James A. Garfield (1831-1881) US President (1881), lawyer, lay preacher, educator
Letter to B. A. Hinsdale (30 Apr 1874)
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Added on 10-Jul-20 | Last updated 10-Jul-20
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We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“The Birth of a New Age,” speech, Alpha Phi Alpha banquet, Buffalo (11 Aug 1956)
    (Source)

King used the same phrases, or variations of them, for different speeches and sermons, e.g., in "Desegregation and the Future" (15 Dec 1956), he used "Leaders not in love with publicity, but in love with justice. Leaders not in love with money, but in love with humanity."
Added on 24-Feb-20 | Last updated 24-Feb-20
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If you want that good feeling that comes from doing things for other folks then you have to pay for it in abuse and misunderstanding.

Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960) American writer, folklorist, anthropologist
Moses, Man of the Mountain [Moses] (1939)
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Added on 10-Jan-18 | Last updated 10-Jan-18
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To furnish the means of acquiring knowledge is the greatest benefit that can be conferred upon mankind. It prolongs life itself and enlarges the sphere of existence.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) US President (1825-29)
Report on the Establishment of the Smithsonian Institution (c. 1846)
Added on 17-Oct-16 | Last updated 17-Oct-16
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You cannot imagine the kindness I’ve received at the hands of perfect strangers.

maugham-hands-of-perfect-strangers-wist_info-quote

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) English novelist and playwright [William Somerset Maugham]
The Narrow Corner, ch. 15 (1932)
Added on 23-Sep-16 | Last updated 23-Sep-16
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He who walks through a great city to find subjects for weeping, may, God knows, find plenty at every corner to wring his heart; but let such a man walk on his course, and enjoy his grief alone — we are not of those who would accompany him. The miseries of us poor earthdwellers gain no alleviation from the sympathy of those who merely hunt them out to be pathetic over them. The weeping philosopher too often impairs his eyesight by his woe, and becomes unable from his tears to see the remedies for the evils which he deplores. Thus it will often be found that the man of no tears is the truest philanthropist, as he is the best physician who wears a cheerful face, even in the worst of cases.

Charles Mackay (1814-1889) Scottish poet, journalist, song writer
Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds (1841)
Added on 19-Aug-16 | Last updated 19-Aug-16
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Are there no ideals more stirring than those of martial glory? Is this generation conscious of calls to the service of native land in ways no more worthy than the way of taking a musket and killing somebody? You ask, in the language of Prof. James, for a moral equivalent for war. A patriot needs only look about to find numberless causes that ought to warm the blood and stir the imagination. The dispelling of ignorance and the fostering of education, the investigation of disease and the searching out of remedies that will vanquish the giant ills that decimate the race, the inculcation of good feeling in the industrial world, the cause of the aged, the cause of the men and women who had so little chance — tell me, has war anything that beckons as these things beckon with alluring and compelling power? Whoso wants to share the heroism of battle let him join the fight against ignorance and disease — and the mad idea that war is necessary.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) American industrialist and philanthropist
“A Plea for Peace,” New York Times (7 Apr 1907)
    (Source)
Added on 8-Jan-16 | Last updated 8-Jan-16
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Whatever agencies for good may rise or fall in the future, it seems certain that the Free Library is destined to stand and become a never-ceasing foundation of good to all the inhabitants.

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) American industrialist and philanthropist
An American Four-in-hand in Britain (1883)
Added on 18-Dec-15 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.

Carnegie - dies thus rich - wist_info quote

Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) American industrialist and philanthropist
“Wealth,” North American Review (Jun 1889)

Reprinted in The Gospel of Wealth (1889).
Added on 11-Dec-15 | Last updated 11-Dec-15
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You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.

Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) American billionaire
(Attributed)

Quoted in Earl Wilson, "Coco Offered Fatty Arbuckle Role," Hartford Courant (6 Aug 1972); earliest reference found. Variant in The Sayings of Chairman Malcolm (1978): “You can easily judge the character of others by how they treat those who can do nothing for them or to them.” Also attributed to Ann Landers, Abigail Van Buren, James Miles, and (without any reference found) Goethe and Samuel Johnson. See here for more information.
Added on 3-Nov-11 | Last updated 31-Jul-16
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Philanthropy is commendable, but it must not cause the philanthropist to overlook the circumstances of economic injustice which make philanthropy necessary.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“On Being a Good Neighbor,” sec. 2, sermon, A Gift of Love (1963)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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