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Kindness

  • Politeness in an individual is as necessary as paint on both sides of a fence, for a person, like a fence, faces out as well as in.

  • There are always a few people you do a lot for, and a few who do a lot for you, but they're not the same people.

  • Human kindness is like a defective tap: the first gush may be impressive, but the stream soon dries up.

  • Kindness is always fashionable, and always welcome.

  • To a haughty belly, kindness is hard to swallow and harder to digest.

  • There is nothing to make you like other human beings so much as doing things for them.

  • ... the role of the Do-Gooder is not what actors call a fat part.

  • What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other?

  • It is a terrible thing, this kindness that human beings do not lose. Terrible, because when we are finally naked in the dark and cold, it is all we have. We who are so rich, so full of strength, we end up with that small change. We have nothing else to give.

  • Surely there is no road of effort so steep but a loving deed may soften its harshness.

  • If all the good people were clever, / And all clever people were good, / The world would be nicer than ever / We thought that it possibly could. / But somehow 'tis seldom or never / The two hit it off as they should, / The good are so harsh to the clever, / The clever, so rude to the good!

  • The same quickness which makes a mind buoyant in gladness often makes it gentlest and most sympathetic in sorrow.

  • When kindness has left people, even for a few moments, we become afraid of them, as if their reason had left them.

  • Good works may only be beautiful sins, if they are not done in a true spirit ...

  • So many gods, so many creeds, / So many paths that wind and wind / While just the art of being kind, / Is all the sad world needs.

  • 'Tis a curious fact that a generous act / Brings leisure and luck to a day.

  • Many think they have good hearts who have only weak nerves.

  • ... there was no reliance upon Hester's kindness. It was too much like the kindness of a mother cat who will wash her kitten's face whether the kitten wishes it or no.

  • I seem to use this word 'kind' very frequently. When one is unhappy or anxious it is a quality one dwells on.

  • ... it is safer to judge of people by their conduct to others than by their manners towards ourselves ...

  • ... to be civilized is to be incapable of giving unnecessary offense, it is to have some quality of consideration for all who cross our path.

    • Agnes Repplier,
    • "A Question of Politeness," Americans and Others ()
  • The love of our neighbor in all its fullness simply means being able to say to him: 'What are you going through?'

  • It is curious how inseparable eating and kindness are with some people.

  • ... as much good-will may be conveyed in one hearty word as in many.

  • If I have learned anything in my long life it is to be grateful for every occasion when I followed my sympathies and avoided my antipathies.

  • ... her little kindnesses ... were set edgewise like thin streaks of lean in overwhelmingly fat bacon.

  • But gentleness is active / gentleness swabs the crusted stump / invents more merciful instruments / to touch the wound beyond the wound.

    • Adrienne Rich,
    • "Natural Resources," The Dream of a Common Language ()
  • Anger and tenderness: my selves. / And now I can believe they breathe in me / as angels, not polarities. / Anger and tenderness: the spider's genius / to spin and weave in the same action / from her own body, anywhere — / even from a broken web.

    • Adrienne Rich,
    • "Integrity," A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far ()
  • That shall be my life, to scatter flowers — to miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word, always doing the tiniest things right, and doing it for love.

  • I would prefer a thousand times to receive reproofs than to give them to others ...

  • ... the more thoughtful you are of others, the more thoughtful they will be of you. The more you respect them, the more you will win their respect.

  • Remember / the bread you meet each day / is still rising / Don't scare the dough.

  • ... a rule of life seems to be that you can rarely repay those who do you a kindness, you can only pass along their generosity.

  • I prefer you to make mistakes in kindness than work miracles in unkindness.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • letter to her religious (1959), in Georges Gorrée and Jean Barbier, The Love of Christ ()
  • Kindness has converted more people than zeal, science, or eloquence.

    • Mother Teresa,
    • in Angelo Devananda, Mother Teresa: Contemplative in the Heart of the World ()
  • Hurt no living thing: / Ladybird, nor butterfly, / Nor moth with dusty wing, / Nor cricket chirping cheerily ...

  • Baby, all you have to do is stay black and die ... The work is the thing, and what matters at the end of the day is, were you sweet, were you kind, did you get the work done?

    • Maya Angelou,
    • in Nellie Bly, Oprah: Up Close and Down Home ()
  • They ain't no feelin' in the world like takin' on somebody wilted and near bout gone, and you do what you can, and then all a-sudden the pore thang starts to put out new growth and git well.

  • The point is not knowing another person, or learning to love another person. The point is simply this: How tender can we bear to be? What good manners can we show as we welcome ourselves and others into our hearts?

  • She was kind; her company was the next thing to being alone.

    • Eudora Welty,
    • "The Whole World Knows," The Golden Apples ()
  • My feeling is that there is nothing in life but refraining from hurting others, and comforting those that are sad.

    • Olive Schreiner,
    • 1884, in S.C. Cronwright-Schreiner, ed., The Letters of Olive Schreiner 1876-1920 ()
  • ... kindnesses have wings and roots ... wings that never droop, and roots that never die.

  • There's nothing so kingly as kindness, / And nothing so royal as truth.

    • Alice Cary,
    • "Nobility," The Poetical Works of Alice and Phoebe Cary ()
  • ... when two people unite, kindness must be mutual, or shocking things will happen.

  • We need not be too strict in seeing / The failings of a fellow being.

    • Mary Ann Lamb,
    • "The Rook and the Sparrows," Poetry for Children ()
  • Kindness and generosity ... form the true morality of human actions.

    • Madame de Staël,
    • "Reflections on the Moral Aim of Delphine," in Vivian Folkenflik, ed., Major Writings of Germaine De Staël ()
  • Tenderness is greater proof of love than the most passionate of vows.

  • I've thought lots of times that if we all tried to make other people's paths easy, our own feet would have a smooth even place to walk on.

  • ... above all judge kindly, that is the heart of everything.

  • Feed the alligators and you get bigger alligators.

  • If you have tenderness, nothing else matters. If you don't have tenderness, nothing else matters.

  • For if you stop to be kind, you must swerve often from your path.

  • Kindness, I think, comes from learning hard lessons well, from falling and picking yourself up. It comes from surviving failure and loss. It implies an understanding of the human condition, forgives its many flaws and quirks.

  • There is nothing stronger in the world than gentleness.

  • And there is not anything in the world stronger than tenderness.

  • Time and disease and nature and God are against us, why do we have to hurt each other, too?

  • She has a heart like a poorhouse blanket with a warm side for everybody.

  • I would not preach tolerance, which seems to me another name for condescension and presupposes faults in those to be tolerated ... Nor do I believe in demanding love — that should be the gift of a free will. But simply to be kind — that is not too much to ask of any of us.

  • Kindness. The most unkind thing of all.

  • We more quickly forget kindnesses than offenses: caresses leave fewer traces than bites.

  • When Mr. Wiggs traveled to eternity by the alcohol route, she buried his faults with him, and for want of better virtues to extol she always laid stress on the fine hand he wrote.

  • That is the worst of kindness; people take advantage of it.

  • Kindness attracts, pacifies, and corrects.

  • She believed that the kindly word, unspoken, was a sin.

  • I shall not pass this way again; / Then let me now relieve some pain, / Remove some barrier from the road, / Or brighten some one's heavy load ...

    • Eva Rose York,
    • "I Shall Not Pass This Way Again," in One Hundred and One Famous Poems ()
  • Kindness is the truest wisdom of life and we cannot go far without it.

  • Courage and clemency are equal virtues.

  • At one time or another the more fortunate among us make three startling discoveries. Discovery number one: Each one of us has, in varying degree, the power to make others feel better or worse. Discovery two: Making others feel better is much more fun than making them feel worse. Discovery three: Making others feel better generally makes us feel better.

  • Pay it forward.

  • A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.

    • Amelia Earhart,
    • in Victoria Garrett Jones, Amelia Earhart: A Life in Flight ()
  • It does not matter how other people treat you. That is their lookout. The only real thing is how you treat them. Give love out, but do not worry and expect any in return, and you will be happy and contented.

  • ... it was always so much easier being kind to other people than letting them be kind to oneself.

  • No deed of love or goodness ever dies, / But in the lives of others multiplies.

  • How easy to be amiable in the midst of happiness and success.

  • Kindness causes us to learn, and to forget, many things.

  • ... the mightiest power in the world is a kind word prompted by the impulse of a loving heart.

  • Kindnesses show themselves in the smallest things ...

    • Queen Hortense,
    • letter (1829), in Isaphene M. Luyster, ed., Memoirs and Correspondence of Madame Récamier ()
  • Nothing in the Golden Rule says that others will treat us as we have treated them. It only says that we must treat others in a way that we would want to be treated.

    • Rosa Parks,
    • with Gregory J. Reed, Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today's Youth ()
  • ... warm-heartedness generally begins at home, and those who are warm to others are warmer to themselves; it is but the overflow.

  • The kind need kindness most of all.

  • Do unto others better than you can ever expect that they will do unto you.

    • Alice Bundy,
    • "Opening the Heart," in Seaside Spirit ()
  • All you can do / is be good to people / and hope that those people / will be good to you too / but good luck / I doubt it.

  • Kind thoughts, kinds words, kind deeds, how brightly they always shine in our memories!

  • Do good, and disappear.

  • Ignorant kindness may have the effect of cruelty.

  • Don’t look for flaws as you go through life; / And even when you find them, / It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind, / And look for the virtue behind them.

  • ... he had kindness where other people had lungs ...