The word kindness refers to actions that physically impact another living being. There is a range of propinquity for kindness that finds its greatest intensity in the form of helpful acts of a mother toward her endangered and helpless baby. There is a natural tapering off of potential interest as the genetic relationship becomes more distant, and a similar tapering off in social relationships as they move from being personally intimate to impersonal and almost random acts.
Kind acts can be done for all living beings from amoebas to kin. Of course, the more both recipient and giver are sentient and consciously aware of the kindness at the moment the kindness is being shown, the greater the meaning of the gift. The receiver of kindness may be as totally unaware of it as an act of kindness as an amoeba would be. Or it could be a distant human or even a person of the distant future who received an insight, motivated by a loving kind act that helped them. For example, Shakespeare, and many others, intentionally gave us insights into our behavior that help us live our lives more abundantly. It’s the transfer of the love to helping another that makes the act into a kindness.
Kindness requires some kind of transfer of helpful energy. The transfer must be mediated by the physical universe from the giver to the receiver. Just having loving thoughts doesn’t transfer to the other being if there is no physical transfer that is received by the other. A spoken word is a potential transfer, a gesture is a potential transfer, a written word is a potential transfer, a beautiful sculpture intentionally tossed into the depths of the ocean where it will never be recovered isn’t a transfer, and therefore even if the tossing was an act of intense love, if there isn’t a transfer of loving energy then the act isn’t a kindness. An unexpressed feeling of love that goes to the grave with the lover is lost forever, but the tiniest kind act that is received becomes part of the Universe and it lives forever. The original thought was …
What comes after kindness? The obvious answer is a motivation and a template for the recipient to give a kindness to another.