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Goodness

  • There is no happiness in the world equal to the happiness of being good.

    • Hannah Whitall Smith,
    • 1909, in Logan Pe arsall Smith, ed., A Religious Rebel: The Letters of "H.W.S." ()
  • Being good is just a matter of temperament in the end.

  • We can be wise from goodness and good from wisdom.

  • True goodness is an inward grace, not an outward necessity.

  • The bad things of life were very transitory. It was the good things, the ribbed sand, the wind blowing over the white-capped waves, the sunshine and the stars, that were so tough and durable.

  • [Replying to the remark, 'Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!'] Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.

  • When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better.

  • The world does not require so much to be informed as to be reminded.

  • Grief may be joy misunderstood; / Only the Good discerns the good.

  • All of us want to do well. But if we do not do good, too, then doing well will never be enough.

  • Simple, genuine goodness is the best capital to found the business of this life upon. It lasts when face and money fail, and is the only riches we can take out of this world with us.

  • Good deeds are many, but good lives are few ...

    • Christina G. Rossetti,
    • "Yes, I Too Could Face Death," The Poetical Works of Christina Georgina Rossetti ()
  • Good done anywhere is good done everywhere.

  • There is a haphazard sort of doing good, which is nothing but temperamental pleasure-seeking.

  • The good die young.

  • The great truth that is too often forgotten is that it is in the nature of people to do good to one another.

  • ... anyone extra good — we don't much like them and we don't trust them ... when we see someone who sets himself up as a model we know he must be hiding the bad part of his nature, suppressing it, and it's building up pressure. Most of us get rid of our bad impulses as we go along, but the model character can't, he just has to stand there on his pedestal until he blows up from internal combustion.

  • Trust in goodness, wherever it be found, but oh, trust all rather than none.

  • The only good thing we can do, the only goodness we can be sure of, is our own goodness as individuals and the good that we can individually do. As groups we often do evil that good may come and very often the good does not come and all that is left is the evil we have pointlessly done.

  • Riches and power are but gifts of blind fate, whereas goodness is the result of one's own merits.

    • Héloïse,
    • letter to Peter Abelard (12th cent.), in C.K. Scott Moncrief, trans., The Letters of Abelard and Heloise ()
  • ... in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

  • But have you never noticed that when one has been trying to do something really good one is much nearer committing some special sin than when one keeps on in the selfish, matter-of-fact prudence of minding one's own business, and that alone?

    • Geraldine Jewsbury,
    • 1841, in Mrs. Alexander Ireland, ed., Selections From the Letters of Geraldine Endsor Jewsbury to Jane Welsh Carlyle ()
  • Oh, how easy it must be to be good when one has the power of doing good!

  • Every good thing you do changes the balance in the universe.

  • You can't be a little bit saintly any more than you can be a little bit pregnant.

  • He who is fair to look upon is good, and he who is good will soon be fair also.

    • Sappho,
    • 6th c. BCE, in Henry Thornton Wharton, Sappho ()
  • My belief is that no atom of truth or good is ever wasted. The forms die off, but the living force remains and goes on forever taking new forms. I would like to help the progress of truth and good; but if I can't, somebody else will, and I am content.

  • You don't have to be a good person to feel like a good person, though. There's a loophole I found where I don't do good, helpful things, but I keep myself in a perpetual state of thinking I might.

  • I don't just want to do the right thing. I want to WANT to do the right thing.