Secular Views on the Concept of Kindness

Topics: Random act of kindness, Mettā, Acts of the Apostles Pages: 2 (540 words) Published: April 2, 2012
In our modern world, it is unfortunate that kindness seems to be one of the most neglected character traits people choose to cultivate in their everyday lives. Kindness is listed by Paul as one of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit -- the nine visual traits that distinguish authentic Christian living -- in Chapter 5 of Paul's letter to the Galatians. Confucius instructed his followers to "recompense kindness with kindness." One of the Ten Perfections in Buddhism is Metta, or "loving-kindness." According to the Talmud, "deeds of kindness are equal in weight to all the commandments."

On a secular note, Nietzsche proposed that kindness and love are the "most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse." Aristotle pointed out that kindness is "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." Some even consider the majority of Shakespeare's opus to be 'a study of human kindness.' In my own humble opinion, kindness is an essential attribute for any person to possess. Kindness is refreshing to both receive and dish out to others worthy of it.

Others tell me frequently that I am a very kind person. My mother and father both are very kind people. I don't consider kindness as something out of the ordinary, as many others seem to do. In an ideal world everyone would be brought up to show kindness to others; however we are not in an ideal world. I, on the other hand, I was raised to show respect, kindness and compassion to others. I believe that small, every day acts of kindness nourish the soul and body.

For example, when I was younger I used to go visit an elderly, widowed woman named Rose in my neighborhood. She was very limited in the things she could do for herself because she had developed arthritis and had frequent back trouble. She could still do for herself, but she couldn't get around as well as she could in her youth. I did light housework, ran errands, and...
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