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Kindness is the act or the state of charitable behaviour to other people. It is considered to be one of the Knightly Virtues, and is a recognized value in many cultures and religions (see ethics in religion). 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[1].

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"[2].

Paul defines love as being `patient and kind...` (I Corinthians)

One of the four caryatids on the Wallace fountains in Paris represents kindness.


  1. Contrary, Heavenly, and Cardinal Virtues. 7 Deadly Sins. URL accessed on 2005-11-22.
  2. Aristotle (translated by Lee Honeycutt). Kindness. Rhetoric, book 2, chapter 7. URL accessed on 2005-11-22.

Further reading

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