Kindness is the act or the state of charitable behavior to other people.

In philosophy and culture

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 [cite web|url=|title=Contrary, Heavenly, and Cardinal Virtues|work=7 Deadly Sins|accessdate=2005-11-22] . 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". [ Dalai Lama (1984). "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight." Snow Lion Publications (ISBN 978-0937938188)]

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" [cite web|url=|title=Kindness|author=Aristotle (translated by Lee Honeycutt)|work=Rhetoric, book 2, chapter 7|accessdate=2005-11-22] .

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). [ Buss, D. M. (2003). "The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating". New York: Basic Books. (ISBN 0-465-02143-3)]

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche had this to say about kindness:

:Economy of kindness.:"Kindness and love, the most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse, are such precious finds that one would hope these balsamlike remedies would be used as economically as possible; but this is impossible. Only the boldest Utopians would dream of the economy of kindness."

Islamic view of kindness:

"Kindness is half of life.", Imam Musa Al-Kadhim, the 7th Imam of Shia Islam school of thought, Imam Musa Al-Kadhim was the 7th leader after prophet Mohammed as per the beliefs of Shia Muslims.

ee also

*Random act of kindness
*Seven Heavenly Virtues
*Seven Deadly Sins (opposite of the seven virtues)


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kindness — Kind ness, n. [From {Kind}. a.] 1. The state or quality of being kind, in any of its various senses; manifestation of kind feeling or disposition beneficence. [1913 Webster] I do fear thy nature; It is too full o the milk of human kindness To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • kindness — [n1] compassion, generosity affection, altruism, amiability, beneficence, benevolence, charity, clemency, consideration, cordiality, courtesy, decency, delicacy, fellow feeling, forbearance, gentleness, good intention, goodness, good will, grace …   New thesaurus

  • kindness — index affection, benefit (conferment), benevolence (disposition to do good), charity, clemency, consideration (sympathetic regard), goodwill …   Law dictionary

  • kindness — (n.) c.1300, courtesy, noble deeds, from KIND (Cf. kind) (adj.) + NESS (Cf. ness). Meaning kind deeds; kind feelings is from late 14c. O.E. kyndnes meant nation; produce, an increase …   Etymology dictionary

  • kindness — ► NOUN 1) the quality of being kind. 2) a kind act …   English terms dictionary

  • kindness — [kīnd′nis] n. [ME kyndeness] 1. the state, quality, or habit of being kind 2. a kind act or kindly treatment 3. Archaic kind feeling; affection; goodwill …   English World dictionary

  • kindness — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ great ▪ loving ▪ simple ▪ genuine, natural ▪ unexpected …   Collocations dictionary

  • kindness — n. quality of being good, kind 1) to display, show kindness 2) human kindness 3) kindness to, towards 4) out of kindness (she did it out of kindness) good, kind act 5) to do smb. a kindness 6) to repay, return a kindness * * * [ kaɪndnɪs] return… …   Combinatory dictionary

  • kindness — kind|ness [ˈkaındnıs] n 1.) [U] kind behaviour towards someone ▪ I can t thank you enough for your kindness. 2.) a kind action do sb a kindness ▪ It would be doing him a kindness to tell him the truth. →kill sb with kindness at ↑kill1 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • kindness — noun 1 (U) kind behaviour towards someone: I can t thank you enough for your kindness. 2 (C) a kind action: do sb a kindness: It would be doing him a kindness to tell him the truth. see also: kill sb with kindness kill 1 (11) …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

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