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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

gift giving during a South Indian wedding.

Kindness is the act or the state of being kind and marked by charitable behaviour, marked by mild disposition, pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others. It is a recognized value in many cultures and religions (see ethics in religion).


In philosophy

Kindness is something which is lacking in us these days. It is always 'I', it is never 'we' or 'us'. We should be kind to others and should always seek others' welfare in our own special way. This will only make the world a better place to live in.

  • According to book two of Aristotle's "Rhetoric" it is one of the emotions (see list of emotions), which is defined as being "helpfulness towards some one in need, not in return for anything, nor for the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped".[1]
  • Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that kindness and love are the "most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse".[citation needed]
  • Kindness is considered to be one of the Knightly Virtues.

In religion

In psychology

In a study of 37 cultures around the world, sixteen thousand subjects were asked about their most desired traits in a mate. For both sexes, the first preference was kindness (the second was intelligence).[4]


  1. ^ Aristotle (translated by Lee Honeycutt). "Kindness". Rhetoric, book 2, chapter 7. Retrieved 2005-11-22. 
  2. ^ "Contrary, Heavenly, and Cardinal Virtues". 7 Deadly Sins. Retrieved 2005-11-22. 
  3. ^ Dalai Lama (1984). "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight." Snow Lion Publications (ISBN 978-0937938188)
  4. ^ Buss, D. M. (2003). The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. New York: Basic Books. (ISBN 0-465-02143-3)

Further reading

See also


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Quotes about kindness.


  • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
    • Leo Buscaglia, quoted in Words from the Wise : Over 6,000 of the Smartest Things Ever Said (2007) by Rosemarie Jarski
  • And if you ask what is the temper which is most fitted to be victorious over sin on earth, I answer that in it the warp of a sunny gentleness must be woven across the woof of a strong character. That will make the best tissue to stand the wear and tear of the world's trials. Our Lord was divinely gentle, but He was also strong with a wondrous strength and firmness.
    • W. H. Littleton, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 255.
  • Seek to mingle gentleness in all your rebukes; bear with the infirmities of others; make allowance for constitutional frailties; never say harsh things, if kind things will do as well.
    • J. R. MacDuff, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 256.
  • Deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments.
  • I expect to pass through this life but once. If therefore there be any kindnesses I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow beings, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
    • Anna B. Hegeman, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 362.
  • Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindnesses and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart, and secure comfort.
    • Sir Humphry Davy, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 363.
  • Kindness has converted more sinners than either zeal, eloquence, or learning.
    • Frederick William Faber, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 363.


  • The best and simplest cosmetic for women is constant gentleness and sympathy for the noblest interests of her fellow-creatures. This preserves and gives to her features an indelibly gay, fresh, and agreeable expression. If women would but realize that harshness makes them ugly, it would prove the best means of conversion.
  • Gentleness in the gait is what simplicity is in the dress. Violent gestures or quick movements inspire involuntary disrespect.
  • Gentleness, which belongs to virtue, is to be carefully distinguished from the mean spirit of cowards and the fawning assent of sycophants.
  • True gentleness is founded on a sense of what we owe to Him who made us, and to the common nature which we all share. It arises from reflection on our own failings and wants, and from just views of the condition and the duty of man. It is native feeling heightened and improved by principle.
  • Recompense injury with justice, and recompense kindness with kindness.
  • Love and kindness are never wasted. They always make a difference. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.
    • Barbara De Angelis
  • Sticks and stones can build homes, but words can build up people.
    • James DeMaio
  • I wonder why it is we are not all kinder to each other...How much the world needs it! How easily it is done!
  • We do not believe, or we forget, that "the Holy Ghost came down, not in shape of a vulture, but in the form of a dove."
  • When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they'll remember and be kind to someone else. And it'll become like a wildfire.
  • I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness or abilities that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer it or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
  • A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
  • Always set high value on spontaneous kindness. He whose inclination prompts him to cultivate your friendship of his own accord will love you more than one whom you have been at pains to attach to you.
  • A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.
  • Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.
  • Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
  • To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.
  • Kindness is more than deeds. It is an attitude, an expression, a look, a touch. It is anything that lifts another person.
    • C. Neil Strait
  • Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
  • Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless.
  • So many gods, so many creeds,
    So many paths that wind and wind,
    While just the art of being kind
    Is all the sad world needs.
  • A matter dealt with gently is sure to prosper, but a matter dealt with violently causes vexation.

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:
Look up kindness in Wiktionary, the free dictionary

Source material

Up to date as of January 22, 2010

From Wikisource

by Paul Laurence Dunbar

Was he not kind to you, this dead old Year?
Did he not give enough of earthly store?
Enough of laughter and good cheer?
It is not well to hate him for the pain
He brought you, and the sorrows manifold.

To pardon him these hurts still I am fain,
For in the panting period of his reign,
He brought me new wounds,
But he healed the old.

PD-icon.svg This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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