Kindness is an honour and ornament to human nature. Shame on those hearts of stone that cannot melt in the sorrows and troubles of others. But for this virtue, this world would have ceased to exist long ago. Man would have torn man to pieces. Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together despite all discords. God is Love and the best prayer to God is the love of his creation.
‘He prayeth best, who loveth best
Both man and bird and beast.’
Man is the best of all created objects the roof and crown’ of all creation. It ill-behaves him to offened his Maker by being unkind.
Kindness is a great virtue. Most of the virtues are once blest only. Kindness is, like the quality of mercy, ‘twice-blest,’ benefiting both the giver and the receiver. ‘To pity distress is but human; to relieve it is God-like.’ Kind looks, kind words and kind acts are the cheapest of all things, but they are a sure means of winning God’s grace. We should learn to scorn pleasures which give pain to others. There is a poem by the English poet Leigh Hunt, called ‘Abou Ben Adhem.’ The moral of the poem is that God loves those who love His creation, that service of humanity is the best service of God. Paradise is open to all kind souls. Abou Ben Adhem could realize God through love and service of his fellow-beings. Little wonder the angle put his name on the top of the list of faithful worshippers of God. Some try to propitiate God by offering prayers, visiting temples and chanting hymns. But by far the best and easiest way of pleasing Him is through service of mankind, through wiping the tears of others and mitigating their grief, by nursing the sick, feeding the hungry, nothing the naked and cheering the cheerless. To commiserate is vine.
Little deeds of kindness,
Little deeds of love,
Make this earth an Eden,
Like the Heaven above.
All the principal religions of the world-Christianity, Hinduism Islam, Buddhism-preach, inter alia, this humanism, realisation of the divine through cosmic love.
This love is not to be confined to human beings alone. We should love, as the poet’ says, “all thing great and small,’ from the highest to the meanest in His creation. We should be considerate to animals, brids, even little insects. Animals serve us in various ways. Some brids, by their ‘full-throated’ singing make us forget our sorrows and add our human happiness. But that is a selfish way of looking at things. We should learn to feel for things in which we have no personal interest. There is a ‘Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.’ We should not merely prevent ill-treatment of animals, but should see 4o it that they are not killed for mere pursuit. Kindness is a duty imposed upon us all by fiod and our ideal should be.
Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.
More than half the evils in this world are traceable to ‘want of heart.’ Life is an indivisible whole. One cannot be cruel to animals and be also kind to his fellow-beings. From ‘cruelty to animals’ to ‘cruelty to human beings, it is our a step. Cruelty degrades us to the level of wild beasts. Kindness has an improving influence on man; it is an ennobling quality, one of the feeders of our nobler character, one of the tributaries of the river of life.
If the virute of kindness is practiced on a large scale, this World would become a veritable Eden on earth. All sorts of cruel practices should go. Exploitation of man by man, of the nation by nation, of employees by employers and last but not least, of labourers by capitalists should cease. The present capitalistic system is unleashing dehumanizing tendencies and making men monsters. Devoid of the milk of human kindness, unfeeling and callous, we are no better than stones. ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself-That is what the Holy Quran enjoins upon us. Do we live up to it? There is no motto better than the motto of Kindness in another’s trouble.’ It is good to be kind in thought; it is divine to be kind in act.