A quote meme showing actor Keanu Reeves displayed a quote reading be humble and never think you are better than anyone else and we all leave this world with nothing.
Jody Henderson/Facebook

On June 18, 2024, a Facebook user named Jody Henderson posted an image showing a photo of actor Keanu Reeves with the quote, “Be humble and never think you are better than anyone else. We all leave this world with nothing.” The image displayed a small signature signed with Henderson’s name.

A quote meme showing actor Keanu Reeves displayed a quote reading be humble and never think you are better than anyone else and we all leave this world with nothing.

Moviegoers believe Reeves to be one of the more humble actors appearing in films these days. That belief might lead some online users to believe he truly said the words displayed in the meme.

User Comments

Many of the users commenting under the post said either “So true!” or Amen!” Several commenters also appeared to believe the quote originated with Reeves.

One person commented, “Love Keanu!! He is such a sweet man.”

Another user remarked, “I would love to meet this genuine guy! Thank you for being real and an example to the world of kindness!”

A different user said, “He’s an inspiration to us ALL! Such a beautiful human being! We need a lot more people like Keanu Reeves! What a beautiful and peaceful world we could live in, just sayin!”

I also noticed one user had a bit more to say than other users. That user wrote, “So very true. Beautiful words. I absolutely love this actor. I have watched a lot of his movies and seen a lot of pictures about him. If you didn’t know better, you wouldn’t even know he was a movie star. He is so humble on the streets. [Keanu] Reeves, may God always be with you and thank you for sharing this humble post. 100% true.”

At least one commenter felt something off about the image and its inclusion of Reeves. That user’s comment read, “I think it’s interesting that they use Keanu’s image for lots of these memes. I am not sure if he said any of them, but more so, is it legal to use his pic? Does he get residuals or paid?” This user’s question of legality involving residuals was misguided. However, the user’s questioning of whether or not Reeves ever said the quote was spot-on.

Did Reeves Say ‘Be Humble And Never Think You Are Better Than Anyone Else’?

No evidence exists tying Reeves to the quote, “Be humble and never think you are better than anyone else. We all leave this world with nothing.” Also, Henderson never specifically claimed the quote originated from Reeves. Plenty of memes feature serious photos of well-known actors all of the time alongside quotes they never said. The apparent reason for the inclusion of photos of actors displaying serious facial expressions is to try to bring to users a deep and thoughtful mood with the quotes.

Feel free to read on to find out more about the origins of this quote, including its purported ties to the Bible. Alternatively, for further interesting reading, check out, “‘My Barn Has Moved’: Woman Explains Mysterious TikTok Video.”

Google Web Search

The first step in my research involved a quick search with Google. In this case, I searched for Keanu Reeves and then placed the words “be humble and never think” next to his name in quotes. That Google search returned zero credible results.

A LinkedIn user named Kamaldeep Singh Sokhi appeared to post the oldest publicly-available version of a page mentioning Reeves with the quote. Sokhi created the post in May 2020.

Google Books Search

A search of Google Books found no results for Reeves’ name and the quote.

Newspapers.com Search

Similarly, Newspapers.com also returned zero results for the same search.

Bible Verse?

On June 10, 2020 The Scott County Times, a newspaper based in Forest, Mississippi, published part of the aforementioned quote. The newspaper article appeared to claim the quote originated in the Bible.

Part of the article read, “‘Be humble and never think that you are better than anyone else. For dust you are and to dust you shall return.’ (Genesis 3:19).”

I found posts and videos on Pinterest, Facebook and TikTok all making the same claim part of the quote originated in a Bible verse. However, I was unable to confirm the verse as displaying in any of the most popular versions of the Bible.

For example, according to BibleGateway.com, Genesis 3:19 in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible reads, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

The verse in the New American Standard Bible (NASB) reads, “By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Until you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”

Also, the verse in the King James Version (KJV) reads, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

Who Originated the Quote?

The thing about inspiring quotes is many people throughout past centuries may have spoken or written similar thoughts. However, as for the exact quote mentioned in the Facebook post alongside Reeves’ photo, the oldest post on what was then known as Twitter (including the word “that”) originated from a user named Irene Fortes @aireenfortes. Fortes tweeted on Oct. 27, 2015, “Be humble and never think that you are better than anyone else.”

Similarly, Twitter user Andrew Swartz (swartz19) posted on Dec. 8, 2014, “Work hard. Always be humble. And, never think you are better than anyone else.”

I will update this story if I uncover any further data or helpful sources.

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