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"There is no doubt that a hero must be brave and kind; therefore, in a story he must have occasion to exercise his chivalry, and the most picturesque way of doing so is in the service of the heroine. Hence it is necessary that there should be a damsel in distress."--Short Studies in Character (1894) by Sophie Bryant

Innocence (1893) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Both young children and lambs are symbols of goodness
Innocence (1893) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau: Both young children and lambs are symbols of goodness

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Kindness is a behavior marked by ethical and virtue characteristics, pleasant disposition, and concern for others. It is known as a virtue, and recognized as a value in many cultures and religions (see ethics in religion). Research has shown that acts of kindness does not only benefit receivers of the kind act, but also the giver, as a result of the release of neurotransmitters responsible for feelings of contentment and relaxation when such acts are committed.

  • According to Book Two of Aristotle's "Rhetoric" it is defined as virtue). It 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".
  • Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche argued that kindness and love are the "most curative herbs and agents in human intercourse".
  • Kindness is considered to be one of the Knightly Virtues.

In psychoanalysis

Analysts warn that 'real kindness changes people in the doing of it, often in unpredictable ways. Real kindness is an exchange with essentially unpredictable consequences'.

They also argue that, in a relationship, 'real kindness, real fellow-feeling, entails hating and being hated - that is, really feeling available frustrations – and through this coming to a more real relationship'.

In literature

  • It has been suggested that 'most of Shakespeare's opus could be considered a study of human kindness'.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson considered that 'the essence of love is kindness; and indeed it may best be defined as passionate kindness: kindness, so to speak, run mad and become importunate and violent'.
  • The Christian apostle Paul lists kindness as one of the nine traits considered to be the "fruit of the Spirit" in Galatians 5:22.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Kindness" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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