— Question —
What is kindness? I mean, what is kindness really? How can I understand kindness better?
Kindness is — and always will be — one of the most beautiful and powerful forces for good that exists in the entire world.
It’s because kindness is love:
Kindness Is Love In Action.
Kindness is all the different ways — both big and small — we express care, concern, and consideration for ourselves and those with whom we share the world.
Kindness shows up as a supportive smile, a comforting embrace, and a helping hand when we need it the most — but may expect it the least.
It exists as heartfelt words of encouragement, thoughtful gestures of affection, and compassionate acts of generosity so many of us witness, perform, and receive as we move through life.
In a world filled with struggle and pain, kindness is like a deep cleansing breath that rejuvenates us with its purity, refreshes us with its goodness, and gives us the strength to persevere despite our troubles.
Kindness is a reminder of why we’re here and how we can each use our lives to help others.
Kindness is a source of some of man’s greatest joys and a reason why life is beautiful, even though it’s challenging.
Join Me In Taking A Closer Look At Kindness
Together, let’s explore the following:
- The definition of kindness and why kindness involves choice;
- A list of kindness synonyms and the universal theme that unites these related words; and
- The best way to understand the true meaning of kindness and the wonderful ways kindness can change the world and us.
Ready? Let’s jump right in!
First, Let’s Look At A Kindness Definition
Quick question — Have you ever tried to look up “kindness” in an official dictionary?
If you have, you might have found a formal definition of kindness that looked a little something like this:
- “The quality of being kind.”
While that may be an accurate definition of kindness, it can feel a bit disappointing because it doesn’t seem to do the word “kindness” justice.
Perhaps partly due to its brevity, the above kindness definition fails to convey kindness’ immensity. In addition, it creates the follow-up question of “well, then, what is the definition of kind?”
Another Way To Define Kindness
It isn’t easy to define something as significant as kindness, so it’s understandable different people may define kindness in different ways.
Here’s one way to define kindness:
Kindness is the sincere and voluntary use of one’s time, talent, and resources to better the lives of others, one’s own life, and the world through genuine acts of love, compassion, generosity, and service.
Moreover, kindness involves choice.
Kindness involves choice because there are many alternatives to kindness that will tempt us through life — including, of course, apathy and anger.
Circumstances may test us. People may try us. News may trouble us. Yet, despite these obstacles, we each have the beautiful ability to actively choose to be kind.
In addition, kindness involves choice because there are so many different ways to be kind.
Every time each of us performs an act of kindness, we each get to choose fun answers to great questions such as the following:
- Who can I be kind to?
- How kind can I be?
- What acts of kindness can I do?
Choice doesn’t have to create complexity. In the case of kindness, it creates convenience.
Since there are always opportunities and great ways to be kind, kindness will forever have a place in our lives and in our world as long as people continue to intentionally choose it.
Next, Let’s Turn Our Attention To Kindness Synonyms
When we view words that are similar to “kindness”, we gain additional perspective about what kindness means.
In addition, we might be able to spot a common theme that unites these related words.
The following is a list of synonyms for kindness that may be found in a thesaurus:
A List Of Kindness Synonyms
A Couple Of Observations
First, as you can see based on its synonyms, kindness is in great company.
Second, a common theme kindness seems to share with the synonyms of kindness listed above appears to be love.
Love Is At The Core Of Kindness
Love is the invisible thread that ties kindness to its peers.
Love is the origin of the affectionate, empathetic, and supportive undertone that exists not only in kindness, but also in each and every kindness synonym.
This undeniable presence of love, however, comes as no great surprise because, as mentioned earlier, kindness is a form of love:
Kindness Is Love In Action.
Kindness is a way love is expressed, a reason love multiplies, and an example of what is possible when love is prioritized.
That’s why kindness is so hard to capture with just words.
Since kindness is love in action, it’s challenging to fully express the magnitude and magnificence of kindness through just synonyms and definitions.
Words on a page can begin to paint a picture, but they can never thoroughly represent all that’s special about kindness or all that kindness can accomplish once it’s put out into the world.
With its brilliant beauty and endless ability to elevate, kindness is so much more — more splendid, more substantial, more satisfying — than can ever be completely described in even the most carefully crafted sentences.
Kindness definitions and kindness synonyms are useful, but these two teaching tools simply scratch the surface of the true meaning of kindness:
It’s one thing to be taught kindness.
It’s another thing to be touched by it.
Kindness Definitions And Kindness Synonyms Are Only The Beginning
If we want to truly understand “what is kindness?”, then we need to do more than just read about it.
We need to branch out beyond the confines of what can be written and immerse ourselves in the beauty of what can be felt.
Fortunately, this leads us right to the very best way to discover the essence, impact, and importance of kindness.
Now, Let’s Uncover The Best Way To Understand The True Meaning Of Kindness
Okay, so if synonyms and definitions of kindness show just one, albeit necessary, piece of the pleasurable puzzle that is kindness — how else can we better understand kindness?
What do we have to do to really understand what kindness means to others, to ourselves, and to the world?
The simple truth is there’s no substitute for experience:
The Best Way To Understand Kindness Is To Practice Kindness.
If we want to know the real meaning of kindness, then we must take the time to intentionally spread kindness. More specifically, we must do the following:
- Be kind to others.
- Be kind to ourselves.
When we actively choose to be kind, we see the real power of kindness is best understood when realized, instead of just researched — when kindness is actually dispersed, instead of just discussed.
We see kindness is so meaningful, magnetic, and memorable, in part, because kindness can make us and those around us feel utterly incredible — incredibly useful, incredibly optimistic, and incredibly honored to be of genuine service to others.
Most of all, when it comes to kindness, we see the reason it’s far more fulfilling to initiate than to investigate is because kindness truly is love.
Kindness Really Is Love In Action
As love, kindness is an antidote to hate.
It is a wellspring of hope and a counterbalance to despair.
Kindness is a gift everyone can give — every day — not only to others, but also to ourselves.
In addition, the gift of kindness is a gift that keeps on giving.
Sincere kindness does so much more than just make us smile. It stays with us. It lingers.
As it disarms our shields of cynicism and reaffirms our faith in humanity, it marks us — kindness changes us.
Despite how low we feel or how far we’ve fallen, great acts of kindness pick us up, dust us off, and urge us to stand tall regardless of the weight of our burdens.
Therein lies the beauty of kindness.
Kindness provides both comfort and clarity. It ignites, even as it soothes.
Kindness shows us we’re all worth the effort and all our efforts have worth.
So Don’t Just Ponder Kindness — Practice Kindness
Be Kind To Others
Make the effort to perform random acts of kindness for strangers, as well as the people you know the most. Do good deeds that make people smile for no other reason than simply because you can. Take a KIE Kindness Challenge and commit to it.
Let’s make the world our classroom and our actions our guides.
Only then will we know the true effects of kindness on ourselves and the world around us. Only then will we realize what kindness really means.
Be Kind To Ourselves
In addition, even as we intentionally seek to be kind to others, we must never ever forget to also actively be kind to ourselves.
Loving ourselves as unconditionally and as kindly as we love those around us not only fuels our own desire to be our best selves, but also inspires others to want to be theirs.
The best way to understand kindness is to try to be an endless source of it:
Experience is an excellent educator.
Finally, Is There Anything Else We Need To Know About Kindness?
Well, in our attempt to address kindness, we’ve covered a lot of ground:
- We’ve discussed kindness definitions, kindness synonyms, and the benefits of practicing kindness in order to best understand it.
However, as you can see below, there are two more things we need to know:
- We need to know kindness can change the world.
- We need to know kindness can change us, too.
Kindness Can Change the World
We’ve already mentioned kindness is love in action.
However, because kindness is love in action, that means kindness is also the following:
- a bridge to peace and harmony;
- a creator of laughter and delight;
- a tool that can tighten and strengthen bonds;
- a bucket that can douse bitterness and blame;
- a key that can unlock self-imposed prisons such as selfishness and hostility;
- and so much more…
Since kindness brings out the very best in human nature and can spread quickly from person to person, kindness is a catalyst for change — but not just any change:
Kindness is a catalyst for the type of genuine, positive change that slowly, but surely lays the groundwork for a better, brighter, and more beautiful future so long as kindness continues to be released into the world.
After all, kindness compounds.
It taps into the inherent goodness that resides in each of us and grows steadily stronger with every act of kindness that’s performed.
Day by day and smile by smile, as more good people do good things, kindness gains mass and momentum:
- Like a snowball rolling down a steep hill, kindness increases and intensifies until it becomes such a formidable force for good it knocks down the evil barriers of anger and animosity that stand between us and the peaceful world we want.
Kindness is crucial, contagious, and completely capable of changing the world for the better if only we commit ourselves to spreading it.
Kindness Can Change Us, Too
Besides being good for the world, kindness is also one of the most rewarding ways each and every one of us can use our lives to make a difference.
So many of us want to be our best selves.
We constantly fill our heads with knowledge, our bodies with nutrients, and our days with goals — mainly in the hopes we’ll lead lives that make us proud.
We don’t know how much time we have here on Earth, but we do know we want to do things that matter. We dream about ways we can do something important or do something meaningful with our lives in a desire to make an impact.
One of the most important and meaningful things we can do with our lives, however, is to actively be kind.
That means we don’t have to wait for some unknown future date to do something great or important for the world. Through kindness, we can do something important every single day and not only end up changing the world for the better, but also ourselves as well:
- When we’re kind to others, we make people feel valued and encourage them to reach their greatest heights. We see beyond the scope of our own individual problems and work to use our lives to do the most good for the most amount of people so the world is a better place because of it.
- When we’re kind to ourselves, we refuse to let ourselves be devalued and courageously fight to reach our own greatest heights. We see beyond the scope of our multiple failures and work to unleash the immense power of our potential so we, too, are better people because of it.
Kindness is our ally.
Kindness is our friend.
Kindness pushes us to be our best by reminding us to love ourselves and the people with whom we share the world.
Kindness changes us by challenging us to not be satisfied with mediocrity, but to dare to do better — to strive to be better.
We often think of kindness as something that changes the lives of others.
However, when we actively choose to be kind, the lives we change the most are often our own.
So What Is Kindness?
As you can see above, kindness is so much more than just one thing.
Kindness is many things:
- Kindness is a form of love and a way love forms.
- Kindness is a way to change the world for the better and a way to better ourselves for the world.
- Kindness is a potential path to happiness and a happy way for us to potentially find our paths.
Kindness is not just simple — it’s satisfying.
It’s not just invigorating — it’s inspiring.
It’s not just touching — it’s transforming.
Kindness isn’t just this thing or that thing.
What Is Kindness?
Kindness Is Everything.
A Rhyme To Remember
Kindness is more than any words we can string.
Kindness is love — so kindness is everything.
May we all be our best,
B. R. Best
Knowledge is power, but there’s satisfaction in action.
Do a random act of kindness today.
It’s nice to understand kindness, but it’s nicer to unleash it.
Let’s unleash the power of kindness and better the world (and ourselves) in the process.
Kindness is everything.