All acts of kindness are valuable and some can be learned as polite behavior, but kindness requires seeing the person’s present need and doing just enough to help them help themselves. A kind act helps a person achieve freedom of thought and action.
Politeness is routine proper behavior
Politeness to one’s self
Respond to your bodily needs promptly. Do your routine tasks promptly and properly. Don’t take unnecessary risks. Eat just enough, then stop. Put things where you can find them. Stop worrying about things you can’t change. Think carefully about things you can change. Stay on the topic you’re thinking about. Keep your local place clean and tidy.
Politeness to family
Give a hug. Offer accommodations. Say thank you when they get you something. Ask permission to do non-routine tasks. Do not correct family members in public. Share things as if they were that other family member’s belongings. Knock before entering a closed door. Listen and respond appropriately. Elbow your nose when you sneeze or cough. Pick up after yourself and others. Rinse your cup and soak your dishes. A bouquet of flowers.
Politeness to friends
When encountering people – Be friendly. Smile. Say hello promptly. Ask how friends are, by name if possible. Ask how friends’ family members are by name if possible. Offer to help with routine tasks. When friends enter your local space – Offer them a place to sit, a drink, a snack, a small gift. Thank people for using their space and goods. Compliment a nicely dressed person. Avoid foul language. Never label a friend with a category; you know they are more complex. When asking a favor say please and thank you. Avoid interrupting. Thank people for a party and return the invitation. Reciprocate a gift with something too nice to get for themselves. Don’t leave a mess for friends to clean up.
Politeness to strangers
Behave in a neutral friendly way. Give others space to pass. Hold doors open for a moment. Offer a help when a person is searching. Ask often if you can help. On the phone say your name and phone number clearly. Be tolerant of other people’s differences.
Politeness to public
Vote. Obey laws. Don’t litter. Pick up litter. Use public resources modestly. When speaking publicly compliment the public’s good deeds. Be openly cooperative to the public’s needs. Participate in public events.
Politeness to Earth
Don’t pollute. Use just enough resources for your needs. Cooperate with Earth’s needs in public. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle.
Kindness is a conscious and unique act.
Kindness to one’s self
Take care of your physical needs promptly and think about your routine. Eat just enough, then stop before dessert and think. Put things where you can find them and consciously remember where you are putting it. When you’re sick take it easy. Do a challenging thing for a few minutes every day.
Kindness to family
Notice family sickness and do what’s needed. Offer specific help for special projects. Anticipate needs and be prepared with helpful items for them. Set things in place so they can use them. Be involved in the problems and solutions. Encourage family members to use your tools for solving world problems.
Kindness to friends
Offer specifically named encouragements. When you say thank you, include the name and act. Help them do what you know they like. Give them support to do what they don’t like. Have intense interest in their special problems.
Kindness to strangers
When a stranger is in distress offer help before they ask. When people ask for help give it and go a little further. Leave a coin where a litter picker-upper will find it. Introduce people to each other by name and common interest. Explore the qualities of unusual people. Illustrate to others a good way to go.
Kindness to the public
Praise particular new actions. Think about what the public needs and publish suggestions. Create new routines for improving relationships. Clarify the problems and offer workable solutions. Organize public events.
Kindness to the Earth
Discover new ways of preserving living things. Find seedlings and move them to perfect spots. Think a bit about a new really big problem every day. Find fair ways to reduce the human population to numbers the Earth can sustain.