COMMENTARY: If You Were Arrested for Kindness

If you were arrested for kindness, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Some people cheer up a room by entering it, others by leaving it.

What do you bring to your interactions with workmates, friends, and family? Is it encouragement, optimism, or kind words? Or is it pessimism, criticism, or cynicism?

People often forget what we say and usually what we do, but as Maya Angelou said,“They always remember how we made them feel.”

Here are some other wise words about kindness:

“Wise sayings often fall on barren ground, but a kind word is never thrown away.”
– Sir Arthur Helps

“You will regret many things in life, but you will never regret being too kind or too fair.”
– Brian Tracy

“Don’t wait for people to be kind. Show them how.”
– Anonymous

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.”
– Oscar Wilde

“That best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
– William Wordsworth

“Kindness is loving people more than they deserve.”
– Joseph Joubert

“We are made kind by being kind.”
– Eric Hoffer

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.”
– Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D.

“Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.”
– Robert Brault

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Comments 11

  1. Dear Michael,
    I often read your commentaries, but seldom leave a comment. In this case, I smiled at the initial question. Then, as I read more of the story and the quotes I realized this is one of your ‘best’. Like being gracious, it is something that costs us very little to give and the recipient is positively affected…every time.
    Thank you, as always, for sharing these important insights to living successfully.

  2. We all, everyone of us have our respective challenges. My belief is that we are given opportunities to be the “better” person we are influenced to be. Our human struggle is to let go of our own self-thought value in order to “be” the “better compassionate” person we really are capable of being. I am imperfect in my struggle to be who I know I should be and this helps me. Thank you!

  3. This is profound and an eye opener. I was raised in a culture where being frank and open is highly valued. For us, it has always been more important to say it like it is than to be kind. Some of the quotes in this week’s commentary had me going “oh no” when I first read them, but when I had myself read them again, I started realizing how true they were. At the end of the day people don’t remember how right you were when you criticized or commented objectively on something about them. They remember how they felt after you commented. If my intelligent, objective comment caused someone to feel ashamed, stupid and worthless, then it was better I hadn’t said it. I can choose to comment instead on the areas that are positive so that the person can feel satisfied being themselves, notwithstanding their shortcomings. I am not being dishonest by doing that. I am choosing to look at the situation from a different perspective, one that leaves that person smiling and feeling good about who they are. Who knows, that surge of confidence is what they need to motivate them to work on the other areas. I know that the positives in my life have been what have given me the motivation to work on the negatives. Thank you so much for that aha moment. I hope I can cause more smiles than frowns in the future.

  4. Love these quotes and all the work you put into gathering them. Each one, I thought, was better than the last, but my favorite of all, was the quote by Emerson. You never know when it is too late…DO IT NOW! Take an opportunity, make someone smile – pass it forward – it does wonders in creating a better world. Thanks for all YOU do to help others. I’m sure you don’t know how many you reach.

  5. I just finished watching the movie “The War Room” It goes right along with your comments of kindness, love and forgiveness. I know I was meant to see your column which reinforces my faith and to pass on the Word of the Lord with a smile. Thank you for the added push.

  6. Dear Michael,
    As the “Character Counts Guru”, you always deliver. This article about kindness is a masterpiece, and there is such wisdom and genius in all of the quotes who have referenced. I have found that kindness does wonders for one’s emotional and spiritual being, and that radiates pure joy that comes from a deeper place. When kindness is sent out; it comes right back to the sender. Kindness must be recycled on a constant basis so that it travels throughout God’s magnificent Universe. We should make a pledge to begin each day of our lives on a “Kind” note. Keep sharing the “Kindness”.

    Kindly yours,
    Dr. Rena B. Giles-Rice

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