What Is Kindness?

Kindness is the act or the state of being kind, being marked by good and charitable behavior, pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions 

Kindness Chalk Handwritten Word HandwritingIn philosophy

  • According to book two of Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” it is one of the (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”.
  • Kindness is considered to be one of the Knightly Virtues.

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.
  • The Talmud claims that “deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments.”
  • Paul of Tarsus characterizes love as being “patient and kind…” (I Corinthians).
  • It is listed as one of the Christian Fruits of the Spirit by Paul of Tarsus in his Letter to the Galatians 5:22, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
  • 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”.
  • Confucius urges his followers to “recompense kindness with kindness.”
  • Basavanna’s ‘most-quoted saying in Kannada asks, “Where is religion without loving-kindness?”‘.

In psychoanalysis

Analysts warn that ‘real kindness changes people in the doing of it, often in unpredictable ways. Real kindness is an exchange with essentially unpredictable consequences’.

They also argue that, in a relationship, ‘real kindness, real fellow-feeling, entails hating and being hated – that is, really feeling available frustrations – and through this coming to a more real relationship’.[7]

In literature

  • It has been suggested that ‘most of Shakespeare’s opus could be considered a study of human kindness’.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson considered that ‘the essence of love is kindness; and indeed it may best be defined as passionate kindness: kindness, so to speak, run mad and become importunate and violent’.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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