Recently, someone close to me suggested I could be more kind. We were having what I thought was a mild disagreement and discussion, but my tone of voice and body language were coming across to them as unkind. This was good feedback, though uncomfortable. Kindness is the oil that keeps all human relationships running smoothly and I thought myself a pretty kindly guy. Maybe not so much.

As it happens, I soon came across a book in our library filled with wonderful quotes about courage, friendship, love and kindness. It is by RJ Palacio and called “365 Days of Wonder.”

So in order to develop and release my inner kindness, I decided to study and meditate on kindness-related quotes, which I share with you here. Perhaps these reflections can bring us all together into a kinder, gentler world.

Henry James: Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Dalai Lama: My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.

Mark Twain: Kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Kahlil Gibran: Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers.

Rousseau: What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?

Tolstoy: Nothing can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.

Ian Maclaren: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Henry Burton: Have you had a kindness shown? Pass it on.

Aesop: No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Sophocles: For kindness begets kindness evermore.

Pascal: Kind words do not cost much. Yet they accomplish much.

St. Basil: A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

William. Makepeace Thackeray: The world is good-natured to people who are good-natured.

Joseph Norris: Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see, it may reach, like widening ripples, down a long eternity.

Anne Herbert: Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.

J.M. Barrie: Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?

Scott Adams: Remember there’s no such thing as small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

Wayne Dyer: When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.

Goethe: Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together.

Albert Schweitzer: Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust and hostility to evaporate.

Proust: Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.

Seneca: Wherever there is a human there is an opportunity for a kindness.

Dalai Lama: Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

So my message is simply as you go your way in the world, seek out and be grateful for each opportunity to be kind to another human.

Dr. Victor S. Sierpina is the WD and Laura Nell Nicholson Family Professor of Integrative Medicine and Professor of Family Medicine at UTMB.

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