“A person that is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.” [Dave Barry]

Kindness is “the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see,” according to Mark Twain.  Random Acts of Kindness is a place to find ideas on how to be nice, just in case you can’t come up with any on your own.  A highlight of the site is ideas on how to practice kindness — after all, “you can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” (John Wooden)

The Human Kindness Foundation thinks kindness is critical for the modern world: they acknowledge that “in the midst of global crises such as pollution, wars and famine, kindness may be too easily dismissed as a ‘soft’ issue, or a luxury to be addressed after the urgent problems are solved.”  But kindness is the greatest need overall. They stress that “until we reflect basic kindness in everything we do, our political gestures will be fleeting and fragile.”  After all, Emerson reminds us that “you cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon will be too late.”

It’s important to remember the essence of kindness.  “Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not,” says Samuel Johnson.  That is because we are called to be nice to people because of who we are, not who they are.  And who we should work to become is a kinder, gentler version of ourselves, engaged in helping each other and the world.


The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.
Nelson Henderson


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