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Observations on the Strength of Kindness

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Strengths


Kindness is one of the three character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Humanity.

These strengths are interpersonal and are mostly relevant in one-on-one relationships. 

What is kindness?

Simply put, kindness is being nice to others. 

Kindness is being generous with others, giving your time, money, and talent to support those who are in need. 

Kindness is being compassionate, which means to really be there for someone, listening intently to their suffering or just sitting with them and silently supporting them. Such compassion involves a deep concern for the welfare of others. 

Kindness is also being nurturing and caring to others — to enjoy doing favors for them, to take care of them, and to perform good deeds.

Kind individuals believe that others are worthy of attention and affirmation for their own sake as human beings, not out of a sense of duty or principle. There are three traits of altruistic personalities:

  • Empathy/sympathy
  • Moral reasoning
  • Social responsibility

Why is kindness of value?

  • People who give to others, in small and large way, tend to be happier as a result.
  • Kind people are often likable to others which can provide opportunities to develop meaningful relationships and love. 
  • Kindness directed inward (self-compassion) can contribute to higher self-esteem, less anxiety and depression and greater life satisfaction.

A couple of questions to consider

  • What are some ways that you have observed the expression of kindness and compassion by different people in different situations? 
  • What character strengths best support your expression of kindness?

Some things that you can do to practise kindness

  • Surprise someone you are in a close relationship with by offering a random act of kindness eg a weekend getaway or cook a dinner or help them with their routine or chores.
  • Offer acts of kindness in your community by volunteering your time and talents for a good cause or paying something forward like buying an extra coffee for someone in need.
  • Track your kind acts. Research shows that this helps to generate awareness of the strength as well as generate new ideas and behaviours.

For more information on the strength of kindness, go to

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)



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