Friday 22nd October 2021

What Is Kindness? #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2018.7.

What Is Kindness? #LifeThisWeek 4/52. 2018.7.

I wrote about kindness in January last year and I have to say, seeing the word above where I write via my computer reminded me many times over to BE KIND…both to others and myself. I did not know then of course, that the pain in my mouth would be diagnosed in May at cancer and that my life as I knew it till that time was O.V.E.R. Yet, I also did not know back in January and through until that awful day in May 2017 how much my life would be impacted by:

                                  I                 E       S

From the news I shared on-line and via friends and family I was the humble recipient of so much kindness! It blew me away. I wondered why and that was my own inner voice of inadequacy and lack of worthiness ruling my thoughts then. When I let that voice retreat to the back of my mind I was calmer and then more understanding of how many people wanted to, and did, express their kindness towards me.

That kindness came in many forms: phone calls, texts, private messages, comments on my blog and FB pages, letters, gifts, flowers and visitors. Why did it take me some time to absorb this?

I guess, like most, I am more comfortable with GIVING kindness than RECEIVING it.

It became something I needed to learn, and quickly too, as if I was to continue to take part in my cancer treatments, mostly surgeries, I would need to be a FRIEND to MYSELF and speak both GENTLY and KINDLY to me.

Self-c0mpassion and adjusting my self-talk has become a lesson I have learned, and am still learning in my life as I move into this year’s cancer surgery and more.

Recently I asked this question on Facebook “what is kindness?” and received a great list of responses. Each person’s initial is next to their response. I was blown away with the readiness of people to do this and that each answer had a varient of sorts.

It’s a mixture of generosity and consideration, wrapped in friendliness and delivered with an open heart. A.W.A.

The selfless elevation of the needs of others above your own, an extension of empathy, generosity and care. B.K.

Thoughtfulness, unselfishness, empathy. A.S.

It’s not wanting anything in return. K.L.

Listening without needing to have or provide the answers. Empathy without necessarily intellectually understanding. J.W. 

Thinking of others and how you can make them smile. S.C.

Performing an act of selfless generosity, anonymously. M.W.

Kindness is doing something to brighten someone else’s day – unasked and without expectation of reciprocation. It’s about thinking of what you can do for others, rather than what others can do for you. R.B.

Tolerance, respect, generosity. A.O’B.

Helping others in time of need. K.M.

Kindness to me is noticing. B.M.

Kindness is the gift of someone’s time. It’s being listened to, cared about or just simply being made feel of importance. It’s about being ‘seen’. It’s a selfless act with no expectation of anything in return. M.G. 

A friendly, open person who treats others with respect, consideration & empathy. P.D. 

Kindness is strength. It’s often mistaken for weakness, but it is far from that. True kindness has boundaries, AND compassion. A.H. 

In short supply. L.Mcl.

My image and words:


I went to find quotes from others too. It would seem kindness is not only very important but necessary today as always. I will finish with the words from these people too. I trust that you have found the topic of KINDNESS as interesting and as universal as I have!


No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted. ~ Aesop

Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. ~ Mother Teresa

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

~ Amelia Earhart

What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?

~ Jean Jacques Rousseau

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.
~ Dalai Lama

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do. ~ Helen Keller

When words are both true and kind, they can change the world. ~ Buddha


My image and words:

What will you do today to be kind?

How has someone’s kindness affected you?

Tell us more in the comments!


Joining with Alicia here for her Open Slather link up.

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Next Week is the FIRST ‘PHOTO PROMPT’: 5/52. SHARE YOUR SNAPS  29/1/18.



  1. A beautiful post!
    Kindness is something I have been surrounded by since my second cancer diagnosis in September. It has totally floored me, surprised me and elevated me. It is a beautiful thing and something that I have come to realise as at the very core of the meaning to our existence. X

    • Oh Jody, your words really touched me. It is so so true about how kindness lifts us. I felt that with my cancer diagnosis too. It helps doesn’t it? I find it really helps me. Sending loving and healing wishes, Denyse x

  2. What a beautiful post and response, Denyse. I went a bit off topic this week. Sorry.

    Checking in from slightly chilly California!

    SSG xxx

    • Thank you so much SSG. Cold hey? Never mind the shopping and changes of scene and routine will make up for it I guess! Have a great time (even though some of it is work-related!) Denyse x

  3. Kindness to self is so important, I am reminded of the recommendation to first fit your own oxygen mask. I suspect that if we are not kind to ourselves we don’t have much empathy for others x

    • So true, and it is hard to remember it at times but I wonder if we are brought up to think of others first rather than ourselves. “Don’t be selfish” can be confusing when we actually NEED to be self-compassionate. It does help us relate to other more kindly I believe too. Denyse x

  4. What a lovely post Denyse. I think we could all do with more kindness, especially towards ourselves. I know I can be so mean to myself, and put too much pressure on myself to get stuff done or to be a certain way. xx

  5. What a beautiful and encouraging post, It encourages me to be more kind, and look for kindness in the world, where sadly, it seems there is not much of it.

    • Thank you! Interestingly enough when we start noticing others more I think we can share more kindness. In moving here to a completely new area to us I have found a simple good morning and a smile helps. At the shops I am far more likely these days to ask who is helping me how is their day going. Denyse x

      • I had a lady who I have known for a long time and she follows me on IG, come up to me in the supermarket and she needed help with her phone settings. We had a great little chat and I helped her. It’s made my day.
        Over the weekend we also went to a market and I found myself saying hello and making eye contact with a lot of people. It has all come back to my word of the year ‘connected’. Kindness has come into that, and it’s a good feeling x 🙂

  6. I was reading the replies on Facebook when you asked and couldn’t think of a way to say it that hadn’t been covered!
    Today I’m going to be kind to myself. I’ve had a few nights of bad sleep and I don’t feel bad or sick or anything specific, just dopey!

    • I think I was not able to come up with much at the time of asking which is why I did and got some help there for sure. I understand it is awful to ‘pick yourself up’ and get back to work/life/whatever without proper rest. The weather has been downright UNkind to many. I do hope you are being kind to yourself and doing as little as you can…to get back to feeling less ‘dopey’. Denyse x

  7. Kindness was another one of those words that we use all the time, but was really tricky to define when I sat down to write about it Denyse. I finally found my words and a quote that I loved (an extra one to the ones you found) and it was a really helpful exercise to look at it from a broader perspective. It’s a shame we need to have a crisis before we experience kindness in full force isn’t it?

    • I think that was why I ended up asking for others to help me out because I was feeling a little stuck or cliched. I also think that when we exhibit kindness towards others it is a lot easier that when we do this for ourselves. So, as we know self-compassion first will help us be kinder to others…I hope! Denyse x

  8. Such a lovely topic to think about and act upon.

    Like you I find it so much easier to be kind to others than to be kind to myself.

    Sometimes its the kindness of strangers, just small gestures that mean the most to me and that can really make my day!

    I try to be kind to others whose paths I cross throughout my day, whether this is just letting them into the traffic ahead of me or complimenting them, especially people I don’t know. I like to think that in my own small way I may have made someone’s day a little brighter and happier.

    Younger people often seem surprised by kindness and older people seem touched by it.


    • Oh wow, that was so good to read Ingrid! Thank you for sharing. I am really glad that you too are finding small daily interactions make a difference! Denyse x

  9. Denyse, A reminder to be kind to myself is just what I need right now. I’m finding that starting my own business is a much steeper learning curve than I expected, which has led me to be not very kind to myself when things don’t quite go to plan.

    • I am glad then if it helps. High expectations are a bit of an enemy for some of us. Whatever you would tell another person is what you need to be telling yourself (but you already know that!) Best wishes in your new venture! Denyse x

  10. This is such a feel-good post. I find it easier to be kind to others as opposed to myself. But I’m slowly getting there. I am humbled when I am the recipient of kindness and have become better at receiving it because I realise it makes others feel good to be kind too. Have you read Wonder? You should. The main theme of the book is ‘Choose Kind’

    • Thank you Sanch! I think it is a trend for us to offer ourselves kindness is rare. Maybe things need to change. I will check out Wonder. Denyse x

  11. kindness is something my kids are sorely lacking.

    beautiful words, hope you are having a great week.

    • I hope the kids can find a way to kindness. It seems that it can be a challenge in the family setting everywhere. Thanks so much, the week is going well. Denyse x

  12. Gosh this post resonated with me Denyse! I consider myself a kind person and I’m always trying to live my life by kindness to others. However, I’m not all that good at accepting kindness or believing that I deserve it. It’s so much easier and comfortable (to me) to give kindness than to receive it. I hope we both become better at that during 2018!

    • Thanks Kirsty. Sound like your inner critic is a busy bee…like many of us! Time to challenge what she says and get on with a kinder version of you inside. You do exude kindness to others…now it IS time for you first!! Denyse x

  13. Thanks, Denyse, for sharing a great post and quotes. I like your image and words “Be as kind to yourself as you are to others”. I try to be kind in my day-to-day interactions such as listen, be empathetic, be helpful, etc. and take care of myself. Hope you’re having a great week.

    • Thank you Natalie, I am glad the post was helpful and that you too do what you can to remember that kindness applies to you too. Denyse x

  14. What beautiful words from Mother Theresa, I think they are my favourites. You got me to stop and think about how being kind to others is easier than being the recipient of kindness. You’re so right, and I’d never thought about that.
    Today I’m being kind to myself (and to my co-workers) by working from home because I have a head cold that won’t go away.

  15. More kindness and less hate is what the world
    Needs right now…