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Why is kindness important?

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Quick Answer

Kindness is important because it broadens life's frame of reference. People use it as a sign of respect to value the receiver. Major religions, such as Christianity and Buddhism, exhort the importance of kindness when dealing with fellow man. Christ and Buddha both exhibited kindness and inspired their followers by example.

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Full Answer

In a July 2013 commencement speech given at Syracuse University and later published in the New York Times, George Saunders, an American fiction writer, spoke about the importance of kindness. Saunders believes three main convictions limit human kindness. Humans feel central to the universe, and they often act as if their existence is of the utmost importance. They also feel separate from the universe in terms of other beings that live within it, and humans believe they are immortal. Intellectually, humans know these premises are misguided, but they shove the needs of others aside in a search for personal fulfillment. Humans want to be less selfish, communicate more openly, give more freely and enjoy the present moment, but success requires practice.

Thaddeus Golas, the author of "A Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment," believes kindness is important because "All your words and actions define the world you want to live in." Kindness leads to a more fulfilling life, it feels good and it fosters kindness in return.

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