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A 16 Guidelines view on


Kindness says: “I want you to be happy.” To be kind means to be friendly, caring, generous, benevolent, considerate, respectful, fair and affectionate. We all know in our hearts when we have received or offered kindness because of the warm feeling it brings. Is there anyone who does not want to experience kindness from another person?

Kindness knows with exquisite wisdom when it is appropriate to say or do something. It is found in the small details. A gentle touch on the cheek or a soft support of the elbow guiding someone across the road. Sustaining eye contact for just that moment longer. Making a telephone call. Remembering the little things that please someone.

If we act in a kind way, it may seem that we are putting someone else’s happiness ahead of ours, but in practice it doesn’t work that way. Being kind invariably feels good, lifts our own spirits, and nourishes us in ways that we don’t always acknowledge. Everyone benefits.

Is it possible to imagine a world in which everyone shows kindness to each other? Is kindness something we can learn? What can we do to become more kind?


To be friendly, caring and considerate

A reflection on 


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The benefits of


  • give the joy and satisfaction of benefiting others, whether near or far

  • nourish and deepen the relationships we all depend on for our health and happiness

  • promote harmony and goodwill, at every level of society

Did you know?

Research suggests acts of kindness can conceivably boost happiness in a variety of ways: a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation; more confidence, efficient: and optimism. Furthermore, acts of kindness can inspire greater liking by others, as well as appreciation, gratitude, and prosocial reciprocity all of which are valuable in times of stress and need.

A single act of kindness can influence dozens more - generosity really is contagious, according to researchers at the University of California.

‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

Maya Angelou, USA

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

Amelia Earhart

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