While kindness has a connotation of someone being weak or naive, that is not the case. Kindness is an interpersonal skill – it requires courage and strength.
There are many ways to be kind and countless opportunities to practice this positive trait. Here are more reasons why being kind is important:
Table of Contents
- Kindness is inclusive, it brings people together
- Kindness is important because it feels good to get and even better to give
- Kindness and kind words can change the direction and the life of a child
- Kindness gives us a sense of well-being
- Not being a person with expectations fosters less resentment
- Kindness binds people together
- The more kindness we give, the more love we will feel in return
- Kindness allows us to consider other people’s point of view
- Beyond that, kindness encourages us to not be so harsh on ourselves
- Extending kindness makes you feel good about yourself
- Kindness restores trust in human nature
- Being civil makes for a more peaceful social engagement, causing us to have a better understanding of our interactions
- Kindness influences growth and sustainability in a business setting
- Kindness can be infectious, spreading from person to person
- Kindness transforms us into a positive state
- Being kind is good for us and our health
- Kindness boosts our mood and creates positive emotions and energy
- Kindness allows a person to tolerate differences such as culture, mannerisms, perceptions, and values
- “We rise by lifting others.”
- Kindness can make a difference
- Kindness is contagious
- Kindness is simply satisfying
- Kindness helps us build trust and loyalty for someone
- Kindness makes you strong
- Kindness restores our faith in humanity
Life and Divorce Coach | TEDx Speaker
The motto “All for one, and one for all” originally appears in the nineteenth-century novel by French author, Alexander Dumas, The Three Musketeers. It means that all members of a group must support its individual members and the individuals commit to supporting the group. Basically, we’re all in it together.
When we understand and accept our shared humanity, our empathy increases. We realize that by helping others – those near and dear to us as well as those who aren’t directly connected to us – we’re actually helping ourselves. Kindness is not only a valuable life hack, it’s a deep one.
Think about the list of real and potential benefits that come with your commitment to kindness. It’s long!
- Provides you with deep emotional satisfaction.
- Gives you spiritual well-being and a life with deeper meaning.
- Boosts your health. Your happy hormones increase when you help others. Your stress hormones decrease when you know you’re supported.
- Grants you increased knowledge and understanding as you connect with different people and situations around the world.
- Affords you the chance to express gratitude for all you have by sharing it with others.
- Offers you natural leadership and mentorship opportunities. As you lead by example, you’re really “walking your talk.”
- Gives you problem-solving practice and ways to express your creativity.
- Presents you with occasions to share your time, energy, and expertise for meaningful causes.
- Provides you with ways to learn about yourself and what interests you.
Kindness is both a mindset and a habit. Once adopted, opportunities to practice it appear out of nowhere, in every moment, of every day, of every year. Over a lifetime, small acts of kindness add up to a lot of good.
Here’s a list of “small acts” you’ve no doubt benefited from or done for someone else:
- Opening a door for someone or giving up your seat on the subway
- Smiling and making eye contact with the salesperson helping you
- Giving a genuine compliment
- Helping a friend understand a difficult math concept
- Welcoming a new person into a group activity
- Donating all your loose change in a year to the local food bank
- Shoveling snow for a sick or elderly neighbor
I often turn to two of my favorite Dalai Lama quotes when I’m looking for inspiration on this topic:
We are driven by self-interest; it is necessary to survive. But we need wise self-interest that is generous and co-operative, taking others’ interests into account. Co-operation comes from friendship, friendship comes from trust, trust comes from kind-heartedness. Once you have a genuine sense of concern for others, there’s no room for cheating, bullying, or exploitation.
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
Both quotes remind me of the huge impact kindness can have, and that it can be practiced daily. Start by just sharing the person you are with someone who can benefit from that.
Attorney | Mindfulness & Relationship Expert | Transformational Speaker, Lawyer Lifeline
In an age where everything is changing, tensions run high and conflict surrounds us, kindness is more important than ever. Kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Kindness is unique because it creates just as much wellbeing as being kind as it is receiving kindness.
Kindness is inclusive, it brings people together
When people are kind to each other, they bond in ways that discipline and authority cannot create. When people are kind, life is less threatening, and relationships are fostered.
It is said that compassion is not only empathy and understanding the suffering of others, it includes the need to take action and remove the suffering you perceive. Kindness is how we relieve suffering.
Kindness is the courage to be gentle when threatened. It is the ability to bring joy to difficult circumstances. Kindness can be given not only to others but to yourself as well. In an unforgiving world, kindness acts as a beacon to the lost, threatened, or abandoned souls surrounding us.
Some say that kindness is an act done without expectation of reward. I tend to think that kindness is our human nature unfettered. The problem with society is it has forgotten how to be kind. When we can recover our ability to be kind, we will solve all of our problems.
Licensed Psychotherapist | Author, “Let Go Of Emotional Overeating and Love Your Food: A Five Point Plan for Success”
Kindness is important because it feels good to get and even better to give
If you’re reading this and actually wondering how this could be true, give it a try.
For example, last week I went to the market and was picking up some pretty flowers for my weekend, a “pick me up“ so to speak. At the checkout line, I was then informed it was a BOGO (buy one get one free).
On an impulse I approached a pleasant-looking lady, formerly a stranger to me, walking in the parking lot and offered her the second bouquet. She thanked me, surprised, and asked me why I was giving it to her.
I told her that it made me happy to give it away and thought she might appreciate it. She rewarded me with a thank you and a big smile. I assure you that my smile lasted even longer.
I try to do as many kind things as I can throughout the day. Thinking about others and what we can do for them is good for our mental health.
Do it for others, but equally important, do it for yourself.
Dr. John DeGarmo
TEDx Speaker | Transformative Speaker | International Expert in Foster Care and Parenting, Foster Care Institute
We all have heard the old saying, “Sticks and stones might break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Sadly, this is a misconception, a lie if you will. The simple truth is that words do hurt. Harsh words can sting the sole of a child (or anyone for that matter), and that sting and that pain from hurtful words can last a lifetime, and do far more damage than a wound from a stick or a stone.
Kindness and kind words can change the direction and the life of a child
Children need to hear kind words each day towards them. The importance of kind words can not be underestimated towards children, especially in today’s climate. To be sure, I have had several children join my family who has never had a kind word said towards them, in any fashion. Make no mistake, their mental health, and self-esteem in these children is severely affected.
We need to find ways to compliment the children in our lives each day, and in several ways. Indeed, whether we are a parent, a relative, a caregiver, a teacher, or however we come into contact with children today, kind words are something they need in order to develop in a healthy fashion.
Whether we are paying a compliment of some kind, telling a child how important and how loved he is, lifting him up in praise, or other words of kindness, these are the words children crave and need to hear, throughout each day. Kindness and kind words can change the direction and life of a child.
Sherry Richert Belul
Kindness is not only important, it is essential — especially when people are going through dark or grief-filled times.
Kindness gives us a sense of well-being
When we turn our attention to kindness, we are immediately transformed — even before offering whatever kind word or gesture that is on our mind. The simple act of thinking, “how can I offer kindness to myself, someone I love, or the stranger in front of me?” will give us a sense of well being.
It is akin to walking down a dark road and suddenly we see a path that is lit up, with tiny lights lining the road. What a difference it makes to walk that path of light, right? Simply thinking of kindness is like that.
And then, of course, when we carry our small acts of kindness, we get to see the impact. We can see how kindness to ourselves can change the way the day unfolds. We see kindness to others when their faces brighten with a smile or when their shoulders release like we’ve taken a weight off for them.
Kindness is often free to offer — an encouraging or uplifting word, a smile, an offer to assist with something — yet its ripple effects are invaluable. We will never know how our acts of kindness transform the world because each person we impact with love may impact so many other people’s lives.
Never underestimate the power of one simple act of kindness —to yourself or to others— because it truly could change your entire day. And that day could change your week. That week could change the rest of the year — or your whole life.
Paul E. Kotz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor | Author, “Profiles in Kindness: Stories of Inspiration & Everyday Leadership“
Not being a person with expectations fosters less resentment
You just accept each other, without too many conditions. Recognizing what your friend does well and letting them know, shows you are a mutual friend, too.
Acknowledging how close you are, and being vulnerable builds bonds. Memories have an impact, and are enduring. Be careful with your friendship to preserve and protect the good times you have.
As an old adage stated: “Strangers are just friends you haven’t met,” is something – that we all can learn from. Taking the risk is often the first step.
I learned that one of the best things that happens to you is when someone helps you see your own value and skills. Your friends help you believe in you.
Realizing your friends are a kind of “stand by me” cool, making sure you were included, and calling you out when you were not being inclusive takes guts, yet sometimes one needs to serve as a protector.
Kindness binds people together
Relationships matter. Some of us keep it to a small scale. Others make their connections larger and wider than life. But, you form bonds because you just – let it be.
Some of us seal the deal in relationships. Others cannot be confined. Some need more freedom.
Sometimes you have a brother/sister relationship that is magnetic, loyal, and loving. Being a kind, compassionate human being is valued in any friendship.
Making the effort to never be mean-spirited is often difficult, but lasting friendships set this boundary. According to my friend who passed away, “We are not our job, our kids, our stuff. We are not our looks. We are the sum of our actions toward others.” In essence, kindness lasts.
This can sum up where we could be. You can’t take many things with you, but you can help others remember that you were good to them through your actions.
Some of us need and are wired to stay loose. Others form tight relationship bonds forever – Either way we recognize and remember a beautiful mind and heart. We remember those who were kind.
Jaime Bronstein, LCSW
Psychotherapist | Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Relationship Expert
The more kindness we give, the more love we will feel in return
Kindness is important because the more kindness there is in the world, the more peace, love, and “oneness” we will feel. There will be less fear, less fighting, and less pain collectively.
According to the “Law of Attraction,” the kinder we are to ourselves, the more kindness there will be in the world, as our outside experiences are a reflection of our inner reality. Simply stated, when we are kind, we receive kindness back. The more kindness we give, the more love we will feel in return. The more we feel loved, the happier we are, and the happier everyone is, as the cycle continues.
We have the power to create more kindness in the world one person at a time. Spread kindness, and you will experience the life-changing results; pure joy and upliftment.
Founder and CEO, Darien Wellness
Kindness allows us to consider other people’s point of view
Maintaining a kind philosophy slows us down a hundredth of a second. It allows us to consider the point of view of the other person or persons on the other side of our interactions. By doing that we are more likely to understand where they are coming from and what is making them do or say what you are receiving.
Beyond that, kindness encourages us to not be so harsh on ourselves
There is an old expression, “charity begins at home” and “home” starts with me. What is your self talk like? Do you speak to yourself like a friend? Or are you your harshest critic? Imagine what it would sound like to say the things you say to yourself to others. If you find you would not, or could not say those things, then reconsider those words and try again.
Many of us have a belief that harsh internal criticism makes us a better person. If that were true, most would be successful in every aspect of their lives. Internalizing kindness makes our ability to be kind to others so much easier and allows them to be more kind to us.
Take Away: Kindness is not just important to others, it is also crucial to us being comfortable in our own skins.
If what you say to yourself you would not say to others, ask why you attempt to be kind to everyone but you.
Dr. Lew Bayer
Civility Expert | CEO, Civility Experts, Inc.
From a civility expert’s perspective, kindness is a critical endeavor- if the goal is to foster civility. That one would choose to be kind whenever the opportunity arises to do so, suggests that a person understands that civility is about making conscious choices to ease the experience of someone else.
Extending kindness makes you feel good about yourself
Even when kindness is not specifically requested or called for or socially correct, the gift is in the giving. The person extending kindness feels good about it (we say that civility is its own reward) and the recipient of the kindness benefits as well. Even if the kindness was unexpected, or unwelcome (which can happen) the recipient benefits too.
Experiencing kindness provides a benchmark against which we can measure or anticipate how others might feel when they experience the same thing, e.g., that person helping me felt good, I would like to help others so they feel good.
Kindness restores trust in human nature
In addition, we see civility (which takes courage) in action and this is inspiring or motivating to others. There is also a small restoration of trust in human nature and a positive impression observed and experienced by third party viewers who may not even be directly involved in the interaction.
Civility being a conscious awareness of the impact of our thoughts, actions, words and intentions on one another; combined with a continuous acknowledgement of responsibility to ease the experience of others (e.g., through restraint, kindness, non-judgment, respect, and courtesy); and, a consistent effort to adopt and exhibit civil behavior as a non-negotiable point of character.
That said, basic niceties are slowing becoming a thing of the past by current society standards and behaviors. Even if we have decided to trash our polite behaviors, let’s think of the children and the younger generation looking to us for guidance. Ask yourself, “What are we showing them about kindness?”
When faced with an adverse circumstance, are we teaching them to “think before you speak?” or how about showing them how it looks when they are wise with their words and thoughtful in their delivery?
When people are treated with the respect they feel valued and when you handle a situation with wisdom instead of bravado you feel more in control and valued as well.
A civil environment is also a trusting environment. One of the greatest benefits of civility is the affect is has on people’s ability to connect freely.
CEO & Founder, Robofun
Kindness influences growth and sustainability in a business setting
Kindness affects my everyday behavior with staff, vendors, the children we serve, and their parents. Instilling kindness in our daily interactions in the company has greatly influenced our growth and sustainability, especially during a pandemic. Here are a few examples:
Kindness to clients
We are now running online programs instead of in-person programs. One boy registered for online coding. After the first class, his mom called and mentioned he didn’t like it and wasn’t happy. We offered, free of charge extra one on one time with him and his teacher. It became clear, he just didn’t like the topic.
Our manager suggested he try a robotics class and we transferred him into this. He fell in love with the class and did amazing work. It was a win-win; he was engaged and learning, his mom was happy and we had a very loyal client.
Kindness to staff
For every meeting, we start with check-in. This has become more important during the pandemic as our staff has been working incredibly hard from home. When talking with one of my employees for this HARO query, he said “I don’t feel like I am competing with other staff members. I really feel we’re working together to figure out how to move the company forward. I feel we care about each other personally.”
Our morning meetings always start with check-in. How are you, how was your weekend? These things make a huge difference. I feel people have my back. I also love our weekly happy hours. It is fun to decompress together.
Kindness to current and past employees
I feel my success is very contingent upon my employees being happy and understanding and supporting the goals of the company. To this end, I am very supportive when employees feel they must move on.
I can’t hold on to good employees, if they feel they need to grow their careers elsewhere, I am happy to help them do this. What you give them, comes back to you.
Over the years past employees have become colleagues in other organizations and they’ve sent their children to our classes and sent me leads on new work.
Aside from that, it feels very good to know your employees respect your work. I’m in touch with about a dozen old employees and we care about each other.
Dr. J. Salim, DMD
Founder, Sutton Place Dental Associates
According to a highly respected Eastern thinker, Ostad Elahi, “Kindness towards others permeates their hearts and wins them over.”
If you like to influence people and capture their minds and hearts positively, you need to be genuinely kind to them. If this kindness is not real and is full of ulterior motives, it will not have a lasting effect.
One should genuinely care about others and extend that mindset towards people through acts of kindness; and be aware that by doing so, one can create good karma, which will come in handy in the future when we need it most.
No one benefits more from being kind towards others than yourself. Kindness is akin to an investment in goodwill that will reward you one way or another:
- It gives more meaning to your life, as your life will no longer be solely about you.
- It gives you a sense of purpose, as it becomes a vehicle for your personal growth and your contribution to the greater good.
- Your life becomes more balanced.
Once your kindness has penetrated others’ hearts and has captivated them, they will be automatically be pulled towards you. They will make your life much more worthwhile.
You should not worry about those people gravitating towards you because they are benefiting from your kindness. Your contribution to their lives will, in fact, unquestionably create a favorable karma, bringing more happiness, bounties and graces into your life.
By being kind towards others, we will certainly become better human beings in the process. We will also undoubtedly be the ultimate beneficiary of such acts.
Entrepreneur | Global Communications Leader
Kindness can be infectious, spreading from person to person
Do you remember the last compliment you received? How did it make you feel? Like most people, you felt good about yourself and you were in a good mood for some time after the compliment was given.
Acts of kindness, like giving a small compliment, are what I call an internal superpower we all possess. Why? Because a simple act of kindness costs nearly nothing yet can change someone for a day or even a lifetime. Not only that, kindness can be infectious, spreading from person to person.
My wife and I were traveling one day in a busy airport. We noticed that the gate attendant had had a bad day. She was visibly frustrated, curt, and snapping at passengers. My wife went up to the gate attendant to ask a question but paused to tell the young lady that she liked her scarf. The attendant looked up from her computer screen and you could see all of the negative emotions leave her body as she looked at my wife and said “Thank you!”
This simple act of kindness changed the worker’s whole demeanor. Her character changed from frustrated and rude to being pleasant and warm towards the other passengers––all simply from receiving a small act of kindness.
Kindness transforms us into a positive state
When we get a small but kind compliment from someone, it transforms us into a positive state. We feel good about ourselves. We smile more, we are in a positive mood, our productivity increases, and we also feel the need to pass it on.
What may have started as a simple act of kindness can propagate from one person to another and pretty soon, the whole airport, an entire neighborhood, or even the office is glowing with positive and productive people.
Science shows that there is a strong connection between happiness and helping others. We inherently want to make others happy because it makes us feel happy within ourselves.
Studies show that when we give kindness to others, we activate the same part of the brain as if we were the ones receiving kindness from others. Not only do we feel good and can be more productive, but the studies even suggest that there are health benefits such as better cognitive function and even improved longevity.
The benefits of kindness are immeasurable. A simple compliment or word of encouragement can range from making someone’s day to changing their lifetime course for the better. For something that costs nothing but a moment of your time, the payoff is immense.
Need some ideas? Treat the person behind you in the coffee line. Send a positive text to a friend and let them know how important they are. Donate a small amount of money to a worthy cause. Leave a nice tip for a server with a positive message written on the bill. Tell someone that you like their outfit. Help someone in need. The possibilities are endless. Someone has to get the ball rolling today. Why not you?
Related: How to Be a Nicer Person
Program Coordinator, Shalom Spirituality Center | Author, Refined By Fire: A Journey of Grief and Grace
Being kind is good for us and our health
According to a report commissioned by the John Templeton Foundation, research suggests there is a propensity for generosity deep within us.
In an overview of more than 350 studies published between 1971 and 2017, there is ample evidence that humans are biologically wired for generosity. Prosocial behaviors that benefit others triggers our brain to produce endorphins, the feel-good hormone.
“Giving social support―whether time, effort, or goods ― is associated with better overall health in older adults and volunteering is associated with delayed mortality,” the John Templeton Foundation website states. “Generosity appears to have especially strong associations with psychological health and well-being.”
In a study at the University of Zurich, researchers conducted an experiment using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to understand how acts of generosity related to happiness. The research revealed a “warm glow,” from neural changes in the brain associated with happiness, after any act of generosity, even the smallest act of kindness. In other words, practicing gratitude can make someone a better person.
My daughter Elizabeth and I weren’t aware of any of this science when we designed Random Acts of Kindness cards after my grandson Jacob died in 2013. All we knew was that his life had been much too short, so we were determined his death would have meaning.
He’d spent a great deal of his time in the hospital during the nearly three years he’dbattled cancer. A dedicated band of Child Life Committee volunteers at the University of Iowa hospital visited his room, bringing toys, and involving himin activities designed to entertain young patients.
Jacob, who sorely missed his siblings while he and his mom were in the hospital, would save the cupcakes he made with the volunteers to share with siblings back home. He’d raid his own piggy bank to purchase gifts for his big sister Becca at the hospital giftshop. And during a brief period of remission, he collected toys to take to other children in the hospital.
The best way we could honor such a precious child was to be more like him, to become better people because of him. Be kinder. We designed cards that included his name and began doing random acts of kindness in memory of Jacob.
The acts of kindness helped us in our grieving. To this day, no matter how bad my day is going; performing one small act of kindness in Jacob’s name can brighten it.
Inspirational Speaker | Leadership Facilitator | Founder, Amazing Women Network
Kindness boosts our mood and creates positive emotions and energy
Kindness is important because we are all connected. I am a firm believer that what you give to others, you are also giving to yourself. When kindness is apart of our daily existence, we uplift all those that we come in contact with, and it also boosts our own sense of happiness and fulfillment.
Have you ever had someone do a kind thing for you for no apparent reason? Think about how it made you feel. Even when I go to a restaurant and the person gives me more than I expected (like a free dessert that I didn’t ask for), it makes me feel grateful and it brightens up my day.
Whether we extend kindness or receive kindness, it helps boost our mood which creates positive emotions and energy. The emotions and positive energy that we feel are passed to others, and our world becomes a little better.
In the words of Princess Diana who was an ambassador for spreading goodwill:
“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
Mental Health Writer, E-Counseling
Kindness is about sharing love and extending compassion, an expansion of consciousness. A kind person is considerate of others and not just themselves. That’s a necessity so that society can function.
The emotion of kindness literally wires the brain to be sociable. Feeling the kindness extended by someone to you allows a person to develop concern and empathy for others.
Doing acts of kindness and thinking kind thoughts prevents us from becoming nasty, toxic people who harm someone by failing to help as needed, or by choosing to let someone be harmed to your alleged benefit (e.g., “I’ll let X, Y, or Z sweat this out while I eat more chips and watch TV. I like being lazy.”).
Kindness allows a person to tolerate differences such as culture, mannerisms, perceptions, and values
Kindness holds bonuses for kind people. The intention and the behavior of kindness create benefits for the people being kind: their bodies fill with “Feel good” dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin. Those chemicals lower the sensation of physical and emotional pain. They reduce the sense of stress, too.
A person who thinks kindly of and behaves kindly towards themselves benefits from doing so, too. They thrive despite hardships and setbacks, and they don’t criticize themselves unfairly. They know to respect their own boundaries so that they don’t overextend their energies and focus.
Calming and balancing, kindness lets all of us live in harmony with ourselves and with wider society. Kindness is important because it holds all of us together instead of letting us fall apart in more ways than one.
Author | Professional Speaker
“We rise by lifting others.”
If for no other reason, kindness is important because when we are considerate of others we are not only lifting them up but ourselves as well. In these challenging times, one of the best ways of taking our minds off of our problems is by giving a helping hand, or a kind word to others.
Certified Sleep Science Coach | Founder, Sleep Standards
Kindness is simply being good to others. It has been described as being friendly, thoughtful, and compassionate. As a psychiatrist, I believe humans are kind in nature. We are all instinctively good inside.
Here are three more reasons why we should be kind to one another:
Kindness can make a difference
Just imagine what kindness and compassion could bring to someone’s life especially when they’re having a bad day. Showing kindness could save lives. As everyone is fighting their own battles and struggles, an act of kindness can change everything for a person.
Kindness is contagious
When someone has been kind to you, you’d feel better about yourself and most likely you’d do the same to others as well. It can create a virtuous cycle of good deeds.
Kindness is simply satisfying
Nothing can make you feel better than knowing that you’re able to help. Supporting others gives you a feeling of being useful. It gives you a sense of purpose.
Founder, Giftsnerd, LLC
We face a lot of problems because of the absence of kindness in our life. We want things to happen just the way we want and even give importance to ourselves only, but life is not about ourselves only; we have to take care of others.
In order to do this, we need to be kind to others; it helps us restore our relationships with others. Kindness is a language and an action, too; whenever someone uses the language of compassion, we feel more connected.
Kindness helps us build trust and loyalty for someone
We can lessen someone’s pain with kindness, and we can even bring a smile on a sad face. If you are kind to someone, you are automatically kind to yourself too. Whatever you give, you receive.
Kindness makes you strong
You can bring positive changes in the world. Whenever you are kind to someone, you’ll understand how amazing it is to do good and being kind to others. It gives you satisfaction and peace of mind.
Kindness restores our faith in humanity
Some may depict kindness as essential for one’s mental, emotional, and social well-being. Since it improves the quality of life for the one who gives it away. However, what if we see it beyond the inward definition of kindness? For me, kindness is important because it restores our faith in humanity.
Today, in a world where everyone is buried under crisis, culture, criticism, and securing what “we need”. People who put others first are rare gems. We need more people who will stand and be benevolent in the midst of anxiety and fear. Those who will put themselves in other’s shoes and are not afraid to extend their hand, resources, and skills to help those in need.
Thus, kindness goes beyond your own self-satisfaction and self-improvement acts. It brings people closer together and making the world still a better place to live.