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Kindness Vs Politeness

2 min read

For the American environmentalist and Professor David W. Orr, “the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane”.

Being kind is the way forward. It is fundamental to human existence. In fact, everyone is affected by an act of kindness: it is contagious and you never know just how big of an impact a small gesture of kindness can have. It also improves our quality of life in the workplace as well as in the community. It brings people together. Kindness has many benefits including increased happiness and a healthy heart. It slows down the ageing process and improves relationships and connections, which indirectly boosts your health.

A kind word, a smile, opening a door, or helping carry a heavy load can all be acts of kindness. Celebrating someone you love, giving honest compliments, sending a thank-you note, are all ideas about how to practice compassion and love into this world. found also that kindness to family and friends, strangers, and self, all had equally positive effects on boosting happiness and well-being (Curry, Rowland, et al., 2018). 

However, a lot of people still confuse kindness with politeness. 

Kindness is a display of affection or friendly feelings towards another person whereas politeness is a display of being proper, good manners and respect for the position of the person in front of you. Kindness is the act of seeing the burdens another is carrying and doing something to lighten them. It requires empathy, commitment and action. Politeness refers to our tendency to be respectful of others rather than being aggressive. It’s about good manners and adhering to societal rules and norms. Being polite is a social construct, a societal facade based on time and manner. But it will not help you to make this world a better place.

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Think about it next time you give up your seat on a crowded bus or train to someone. Am I sincere and willing to help or I am just following rules?


World Kindness Day was first launched in 1998 by The World Kindness Movement, an organisation formed at a 1997 Tokyo conference of like-minded kindness institutions from around the world. There are currently over 28 nations involved in The World Kindness Movement which is not affiliated with any religion or political movement. The mission of the World Kindness Movement and World Kindness Day is to create a kinder world by inspiring individuals and nations towards greater kindness. Read more on



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