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My last article dealt with the various aspects of romantic love. However, value comes in many forms and so does the emotional payment, love. Acts of kindness are pleasant in many aspects and many of the world's religions deal with the concept of kindness. Some go so far as to say that the point of this life is to be kind to others. Though I disagree with that particular view, I do think that kindness to other men is a natural part of a healthy man's life. It is indeed a beautiful thing that we may even strive to cultivate in ourselves.

What is the anatomy and physiology of kindness? Kindness is the natural result of love. It is the desire to cultivate happiness in the lives of those that one values. Value can exist on many different levels and kindness can be shown toward anyone from a spouse to a stranger that one meets. In the case of a stranger, it may be that the only thing that one values in them is their potential as a human being. Just as a man must have values of his own in order to engage in romantic love, a man must determine what is the good and strive for it in his own life (creating self-esteem) in order to value even a stranger. Otherwise, he has nothing by which to judge and, therefore, nothing to value in another. Also, a man who does not cultivate self-esteem will have nothing to give in an exchange of values.

When a man values another, performing a kind act comes naturally and is pleasurable. Seeing the other person happy makes the man of self-esteem happy himself. Likewise, it is pleasant to receive a kindness from a friend who values you. Can you see all of the beauty being displayed in this situation?

First, there is the recognition of value in another. This is the affection that one experiences that can range anywhere from respect of a fellow human to love. Then there is the choice to act on this recognition. This is the kind act or words that aim at cultivating the happiness of another. The result of this action is joy for both the giver and the recipient. One's friend receives the benefit of the kindness and also the joy of the knowledge of the sentiments behind the act. Seeing the positive effects of one's action in turn makes one happy. All of this joy can come from something as simple as a welcoming smile or a thoughtful bouquet of flowers or a few kind words. With such wonderful spiritual returns, one cannot help but agree that the small effort and time commitment necessary for kindness is a bargain of a price.

I would just like to make one more comment on the breadth of the possibilities here. Of course, the most difficult step in cultivating kindness is to find those worthy of it. Good friends are certainly made all the more precious by their rarity and it is difficult to want to cultivate kindness with everyone else in a world full of hate and agitation. But, I do think that the man who is well established in his values will naturally want to cultivate happiness in others. I would like to suggest that there is very little risk in being kind to strangers who have committed no ill against you. One could even say that such acts are aimed at cultivating the best in man in order to better your own environment. This opens up so many possibilities for kindness and the pleasures that flow from such acts. However, kind acts are certainly not necessary. Kindness toward anyone is completely voluntary and is, therefore, a very strong demonstration of a man's morality. This may be the most beautiful aspect of kindness, the opportunity to demonstrate the positive aspects of one's morality and own sense of self-esteem.


Original posting by AnnaLarie on Aug 18, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=297

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