Kindness is the act or the state of being kind and marked by charitable behaviour, marked by mild disposition, pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others. It is a recognized value in many cultures and religions.
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". Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that kindness and love are the "most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse".
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. 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". Confucius urges his followers to "recompense kindness with 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).
- Aristotle (translated by Lee Honeycutt). "Kindness". Rhetoric, book 2, chapter 7. Retrieved 2005-11-22.
- "Contrary, Heavenly, and Cardinal Virtues". 7 Deadly Sins. Retrieved 2005-11-22.
- Dalai Lama (1984). "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight." Snow Lion Publications (ISBN 978-0937938188)
- Buss, D. M. (2003). The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. New York: Basic Books. (ISBN 0-465-02143-3)
- RABBI-UL-AWWAL (July 1998). "What is Kindness to Parents?". Islamic Voice 12-07 (139).
- El-Sayed M. Amin. "Kindness to a Non-Muslim Neighbor: Tips for Interaction". Society. Islam Online.