Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Service

"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity." - Douglas Adams, fully Douglas Noel Adams

"Foremost among the barriers to equality is the system which ignores the mother’s service to Society in making a home and rearing children. The mother is still the uncharted servant of the future, who receives from her husband, at his discretion, a share in his wages." - Katharine Anthony, fully Katharine Susan Anthony

"A great estate is a great disadvantage to those who do not know hot to use it, for nothing is more common than to see wealthy persons live scandalously and miserably; riches do them no service in order to virtue and happiness; it is precept and principle, not an estate, that makes a man good for something." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"I cannot teach you the ten principles of service. But a little child and a thief can show you what they are. From the child you can learn three things: He is merry for no particular reason; never for a moment is he idle; when he needs something, he demands it vigorously. The thief can instruct you in seven things: He does his service by night; if he does not finish what he has set out to do, in one night, he devotes the next night to it; he and those who work with him love one another; he risks his life for small gains; what he takes has so little value for him that he gives it up for a very small coin; he endures blows and hardship, and it matters nothing to him; he likes his trade and would not exchange it for any other." - Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, aka Maggid of Mezeritch

"Man cannot live by bread alone. The making of money, the accumulation of material power, is not all there is to living. Life is something more than these, and the man who misses this truth misses the greatest joy and satisfaction that can come into his life - service for others." - Edward William Bok

"The full-grown modern human being who seeks but refuge finds instead boredom and mental dissolution, unless he can be, even in his withdrawal, creative. He can find the quality of happiness in the strain and travail only of achievement and growth. And he is conscious of touching the highest pinnacle of fulfillment which his life-urges demand when his is consumed in the service of an idea, in the conquest of the goal pursued." - Robert Briffault, fully Robert Stephen Briffault

"Service to a just cause rewards the worker with more real happiness and satisfaction than any other venture of life." - Carrie Chapman Catt

"Do not hate someone who has humiliated you. Although he has transgressed, he has rendered you a service. When a person suffers humiliation in silence, it atones for his misdeeds. The situation is analogous to someone’s preparing a hot bath for you. Although it might cause you some pain, it also cleanses you. Keeping this thought in mind will prevent feelings of hatred." -

"God forces no one, for love cannot compel, and God’s service, therefore, is a thing of perfect freedom." - Hans Denk

"The true Indian sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength and ability. He regards it as an honor to be selected for a difficult or dangerous service, and would think it shameful to ask for any reward, saying rather: “Let the person I serve express his thanks according to his own bringing up and his sense of honor.”" - Charles Alexander Eastman, first named Ohiyesa

"The vital force in business life is the honest desire to serve. Business, it is said, is the science of service. He profits most who serves best. At the very bottom of the wish to render service must be honesty of purpose, and, as I go along through life, I see more and more that honesty in word, thought, and work means success. It spells a life worth living and in business clean success." - Abba Eban, born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban

"A successful man is he who receives a great deal from his fellowmen, usually incomparably more than corresponds to his service to them. The value of a man, however, should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive." - Albert Einstein

"The road to perdition has ever been accompanied by lip service to an ideal." - Albert Einstein

"Those who think they have nothing to give should always remember that they can always give themselves, and that they can always render some kind of service even if it be nothing more than a few words of cheer." - Lowell Fillmore

"There are two ways of making money - one at the expense of others, the other by service to others. The first method does not “make” money, does not create anything; it only “gets” money - and does not always succeed at that." - Henry Ford

"The most acceptable service of God is doing good to man." - Benjamin Franklin

"Shame and guilt are noble emotions essential in the maintenance of civilized society, and vital for the development of some of the most refined and elegant qualities of human potential - generosity, service, self-sacrificed, unselfishness and duty." - Willard Gaylen

"[Suicide note] - 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, a.k.a. Charlotte Anna (nee Perkins), Charlotte Perkins Stetson

"All service is bestowed, which is not well accepted." - Stefano Guazzo

"Service is the rent that we pay for our room on earth." - Charles Montagu Halifax, 1st Earl of Halifax, Lord Halifax

"Show me the business man or institution not guided by the sentiment and service; by the idea that "he profits most who serves best" and I will show you a man or an outfit that is dead and dying." - B. F. Harris

"The meaning of man's life lies in his perfecting the universe. He has to distinguish, father and redeem the sparks of holiness scattered throughout the darkness of the world. This service is the motive of all precepts and good deeds." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"The noblest service comes from nameless hands, and the best servant does his work unseen." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

"So far as man stands for anything, and is productive or originative at all, his entire vital function may be said to have to deal with maybes. Not a victory is gained, not a deed of faithfulness or courage is done, except upon a maybe; not a service, not a sally of generosity, not a scientific exploration or experiment or textbook, that may not be a mistake. It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true." - William James

"I look upon the world as my fatherland... I look upon true patriotism as the brotherhood of man and the service of all to all." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"Your success and happiness lie in you. External conditions are the accidents of life. The great enduring realities are love and service. Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow. Resolve to keep happy and your joy in you shall form an invincible host against difficulty." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor

"When at some future date the high court of history sits in judgment of each one of us - recording whether in our brief span of service we fulfilled our responsibilities to the state - our success or failure, in whatever office we may hold, will be measured by the answers to four questions - were we truly men of courage... were we truly men of judgment... were we truly men of integrity... were we truly men of dedication?" - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"The whole future is doubtless determined; but since we know not what it is, nor what is foreseen or resolved, we must do our duty, according to the reason that God has given us and according to the rules that he has prescribed for us; and thereafter we must have a quiet mind, and leave to God himself the care for the outcome. For he will never fail to do that which shall be the best, not only in general but also in particular, for those who have true confidence in him, that is, a confidence composed of true piety, a lively faith and fervent charity, by virtue of which we will, as far as in us lies, neglect nothing appertaining to our duty and his service." -

"It is true that we cannot ‘render service’ to him, for he has need of nothing: but it is ‘serving him’, in our parlance, when we strive to carry out his presumptive will, co-operating in the good as it is known to us, wherever we can contribute thereto." -

"A man may lose his strength; he may lose his money; he may lose every earthly thing which he possesses. Yet he may still attain and control his happiness if it stems from service to others." - George E. Mathieu

"Charity is never lost: it may meet with ingratitude, or be of no service to those on whom it was bestowed, yet it ever does a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver." - Thomas Middleton

"The man of belief is necessarily a dependent man... He does not belong to himself, but to the author of the idea he believes... At every step, one has to wrestle for truth; one has to surrender to it almost everything to which the heart, to which our love, our trust in life clings otherwise. That requires greatness of soul: the service of truth is the hardest service...faith makes blessed: consequently, it lies." -

"The fact is that we can find happiness only in serving others. Just as a car is designed to move, so is a man designed to serve. And if he looks for happiness in anything other than service and sacrifice, he will always be disappointed." - Harold Oxley

"This is the final test of a gentleman: His respect for those who can be of no possible service to him." - William Lyon Phelps

"Try to forget yourself in the service of others. For when we think too much of ourselves and our own interests, we easily become despondent. But when we work for others, our efforts return to bless us." - Sidney Powell

"He who waits to be asked lessens his service." - Publius Syrus

"Health care is being converted from a social service to an economic commodity, sold in the marketplace and distributed on the basis of who can afford to pay it." - Arnold Seymour Relman

"The successful person is one who is able to take his talents and invest them in the business of living in a manner that leads to the accomplishment of a full life of service... The medium of exchange is not the dollar but services rendered." - Sol Roth

"There is none made so great but he may both need the help and service, and stand in fear of the power and unkindness, even of the meanest of mortals." -

"When we act upon the formula of "giving service" we seem to get what we want and we also get it for the other person, too. In the high art of serving others, workers sustain their morale, management keeps its customers, and the nation prospers. One of the indisputable lessons of life is that we cannot get or keep anything for ourselves alone unless we also get it for others, too." - James Richard Sneed

"Fear arises from impotence of mind, and therefore is of no service to reason nor is pity, although it seems to present an appearance of piety." -

"Men spend their lives in the service of their passions, instead of employing their passions in the service of their life." - Richard Steele, fully Sir Richard Steele

"The desire to serve others is the highest impulse of the human heart and the rewards of such service are beyond measure. If you wish to taste this, then just do it. Just take one step... You will see that the tyranny of self-concern, worry, and trivial pursuits can be released from your life with that single step. It doesn't really matter what you do, it only matters that you do it." - Ganga Stone

"It is taught that willing and voluntary service to others is the highest duty and glory in human life... The men of talent are constantly forced to serve the rest. They make the discoveries and inventions, order the battles, write the books, and produce the works of art. The benefit and enjoyment go to the whole. There are those who joyfully order their own lives so that they may serve the welfare of mankind." - William Graham Sumner

"Love gives beauty to everything it touches. Not greed and utility; they produce offices, but not dwelling houses. To be able to love material things, to clothe them with tender grace, and yet not be attached to them, this is a great service." -

"Our daily worship of God is not really the process of gradual acquisition of him, but the daily process of surrendering ourselves, removing all obstacles to union and extending our consciousness of him in devotion and service, in goodness and in love" -

"Our nature is obscured by work done by the compulsion of want or fear. The mother reveals herself in the service of her children, so our true freedom is not the freedom from action but freedom in action, which can only be attained in the work of love." -

"Providence expects that we should make this world our own, and not live in it as though it were a rented tenement. We can only make it our own through some service, and that service is to lend it love and beauty from our soul." -

"What is the meaning of life? The meaning may not be expressed in words. It transcends the mind and the intellect. The meaning is to be experienced, realized... It is open to everyone who would live according to certain disciplines... The discipline of duty. Life is a field of duty, not a dance of desires... The discipline of service... We are here to help others... The opposite of love is not hate but apathy... The discipline of silence... The meaning of life is to love God and to give the service of love to the suffering children of God. And to the birds and animals who are God’s children as well." - Dada Vaswani, born Jashan Pahalraj Vaswani

"I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike trust in God." - John H. Vincent, fully John Heyl Vincent