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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. Kindness is considered to be one of the Knightly Virtues, and is a recognized value in many cultures and religions (see ethics in religion). It is considered to be one of the seven virtues, specifically the one of the Seven Contrary Virtues (direct opposites of the seven deadly sins) that is the direct opposite to envy[1]. The Talmud claims that "deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments." Paul of Tarsus defines love as being "patient and kind..." (I Corinthians). In Buddhism, one of the Ten Perfections (Paramitas) is Mettā, which is usually translated into English as "loving-kindness". Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama wrote "my religion is kindness" and authored a book entitled "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight".[2] Confucius urges his followers to "recompense kindness with kindness." 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"[3].

One of the four caryatids on the Wallace fountains in Paris represents kindness. In a study of 37 cultures around the world, 16000 subjects were asked about their most desired traits in a mate. For both sexes, the first preference was kindness (the second was intelligence).[4] Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that kindness and love are the "most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse".Template:Fact


  1. "Contrary, Heavenly, and Cardinal Virtues". 7 Deadly Sins. Retrieved on 2005-11-22. 
  2. Dalai Lama (1984). "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight." Snow Lion Publications (ISBN 978-0937938188)
  3. Aristotle (translated by Lee Honeycutt). "Kindness". Rhetoric, book 2, chapter 7. Retrieved on 2005-11-22. 
  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 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




From kind +‎ -ness




countable and uncountable; plural kindnesses

kindness (countable and uncountable; plural kindnesses)

  1. The state of being kind.
  2. An instance of kind or charitable behaviour.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
  • Japanese: 親切 (しんせつ, shinsetsu)
  • Spanish: bondad

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