I believe Kindness to our fellow creature is the ultimate goal of wisdom. That wisdom is the revelation of a lifetime of common sense observation, and what is wisdom itself but common sense followed to its source?
Deliberately seek opportunities for kindness, sympathy, and patience. –
Evelyn Underhill [This is a fine idea. You should, we should, I will make a list of typical locations and times where kindnesses become possible.]
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. – Ralph Waldo Emerson [Do the kindness instantly because that moment will never return and that kindness is missed forever.]
Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom. – Theodore Isaac Rubin [It is the beginning of wisdom to know what kindness is and the end of wisdom to practice it.]
Men are more prone to revenge injuries than to requite kindness. – Thomas Fuller [Pain is easy to remember and thus revenge is easy to contemplate, but kindness requires present observation of another’s need and that necessitates a quiet mind.]
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. – Dalai Lama [It may be simple to a wise person, but most people are only able to practice being nice to others. Being kind requires empathy and foresight, which is a rare combination.]
One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession. – Sophocles [The reason is simply that such a person is already a sage.]
People just take your kindness for weakness sometimes, and that’s just the bottom line. – Ruben Studdard [People demanding a kindness because they perceive they are strong enough to take it are perhaps desperate on a basic level.]
That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love. – William Wordsworth [This is the core of a well lived life because these acts have become habitual.]
The catch phrase for the day is ‘Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile.’ – Harvey Ball [That is a fine thing to do, but kindness doesn’t necessarily result in a smile. Sometimes kindness is a relief-filled sigh, and sometimes the result of kindness isn’t affected for years and goes unobserved.]
There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity. – Nathaniel Branden [Self-esteem must be separated from forms of self aggrandizement which result in luxury.]
There’s no use doing a kindness if you do it a day too late. – Charles Kingsley [Kindness is far better when it is prompt, and promptness can only come when it is a habit and not a conscious thought.]
Unseasonable kindness gets no thanks. – Thomas Fuller [The best reward for a kindness is the success of the recipient in moving toward a higher state of beingness.]
This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness. – Dalai Lama [This is a statement of a man who has thought long and carefully with other people concerned with achieving a more humane state of beingness.]
To practice five things under all circumstances constitutes perfect virtue; these five are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness. – Confucius [The first four are necessary if one needs to appear to be a sage, but the true sage is one who spontaneously practices kindness.]
What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness? – Jean-Jacques Rousseau [Kindness is the goal of wisdom.]
Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness. – Lucius Annaeus Seneca [It requires some mental thought which is absent in other animals, and some language to communicate some ideas and exposure to the concept of kindness and some practice of those ideas of kindness before kindness becomes habitually. Habitual kindness is a rare ability.]
A word of kindness is seldom spoken in vain, while witty sayings are as easily lost as the pearls slipping from a broken string. – George Dennison Prentice [It may require a very similar kind of mind to be witty and to be kind, but although the wit if written down may be remembered, it is the kind acts that make people’s lives better.]
An enemy to whom you show kindness becomes your friend, excepting lust, the indulgence of which increases its enmity. – Saadi [Kindness can be shown to the lustful but it should be directed at that individual’s other potentials.]
Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your daily modus operandi and change your world. – Annie Lennox [Ask your self as you approach a person, “What does that person need, that an act of kindness may help him achieve it?”]
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again. – Og Mandino [To carry this idea a bit further. Assume that both you and the person you encounter will be dead by midnight, if not today then very soon as if both of you are about to enter the abyss. In this frame of mind kindness will come easy.]
Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you. – Princess Diana [This is okay and very nice, but the hope of a karmic reward robs the sentiment of grandeur.]
He that has done you a kindness will be more ready to do you another, than he whom you yourself have obliged. – Benjamin Franklin [Every conscious act is habit forming. Kindness is the most sublime of all possible habits.]
He who aspires to paradise should learn to deal with people with kindness. –
Abu Bakr [A person well practiced in kindness has the internalized habit of kindness and therefore could be said to already be in paradise.]
I admire the fact that the central core of Buddhist teaching involves mindfulness and loving kindness and compassion. – Ron Reagan [Admiration of a trait is the beginning of moving along the path to learning those abilities.]
I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. – Tennessee Williams [This is cute, but it is self destructive to the person caught in that habitual state. Far better in this quality to be able to give than to receive.]
Kindness has converted more sinners than zeal, eloquence, or learning. – Frederick William Faber [Anyone who can learn the habit of kindness will make this world a better place, both for the recipient of the kindness and for the giver himself.]
No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted. – Aesop [That is a wonderful statement, and what it needs are techniques for habitualizing those kinds of actions.]
The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention. – Oscar Wilde [This is at the essence of this kind of thinking, because it is the action that counts for everything. Making kindness into a habit brings about more acts of kindness, but it is those acts which are the goal. Without the kind acts the intent is nothing, absolutely nothing!]
Whatever you do, do with kindness.
Whatever you say, say with kindness.
Wherever you go, radiate kindness.
Jonathan Lockwood Huie [These are the outward manifestations of kindness, but it is the doing of the kindness that is the ultimate goal.]
You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late. –
Ralph Waldo Emerson [If you have to think about doing the kindness it is already too late. However, it is in these moments of consciousness that you develop the habits you seek, and it is then that you have the most opportunity to do many spontaneous kindnesses in the future.]
I like you just the way you are. – Joan Wilson [A friend said this to me earlier tonight, when I was expressing some self-doubt. It shocked me enough to remember it, and when writing this post I realize it was a fine example of a spontaneous kind act.]
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama [It may be possible to be kind at every moment, but it requires being constantly conscious of the other people’s needs, and that may prove very difficult.]
Practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty. – Anne Herbert [This famous bumper sticker is wonderful and hopefully has led many people to contemplate just how to go about doing those things. It isn’t as easy as the statement, but it can be done.]
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; … Be kind anyway.
– Kent Keith [Kindness as a habit is the least selfish act there is, and the ulterior motive is to help the other person live a better life.]
The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty and truth. The trite subjects of human efforts, possessions, outward success, luxury have always seemed to me contemptible. – Albert Einstein [Everyone is involved in their own life-struggle and if it isn’t hurting anyone it shouldn’t be held in contempt. This is especially true of the very person whose letter to President Roosevelt initiated the Atomic Bombs construction which did hurt a lot of people.]
After all our struggles to find kindness the poster below gives some practical suggestions. Another thought is to create a list of your own of acts of kindness.
Kindness – Pass it on! – Give a flower. Eat lunch with someone new. Listen with your heart. Visit a sick friend. Clean a neighbor’s walk. Offer a jug. Give an unexpected gift. Make a new friend. Pick up litter. Say “hello.” Call a lonely person. Open a door. Help carry a load. Plant a tree. Pass a kindness on. Buy someone’s meal. Cheer up a friend. Thank a teacher. Give blood. Read to a child. Do one kind act every day. Leave a thank you note. Offer your seat. Tip generously. Be tolerant. Let another go first. Bake cookies for emergency workers. Tutor a student. Give a compliment. Pay the next driver’s toll. Lend a hand. Give a balloon to a child. Offer a ride. Celebrate the day. Respect others. Encourage a child. Walk a dog. Do a favor. Forgive mistakes. Drive courteously. Share a smile.
The source of some of these quotes and more Kindness Quotes