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The Power of Kindness
New York, Tarcher: 2006

Kindness and compassion are among the principal things that make our lives meaningful. They are a source of lasting happiness and joy. They are the foundation of a good heart, the heart of one who acts out of desire to help others. Through kindness, and thus through affection, honesty, and justice toward everyone else, we ensure our own benefit. This is a matter of common sense. Consideration for others is worthwhile because our happiness is inextricably bound up with the happiness of others. Similarly, if society suffers, we ourselves suffer. On the other hand, the more our hearts and minds are afflicted with ill will, the more miserable we become. Therefore, we cannot avoid the necessity of kindness and compassion.

On a simple, practical level, kindness creates a sense of warmth and openness that allows us to communicate much more easily with other people. We discover that all human beings are just like us, so we are able to relate to them more easily. That generates a spirit of friendship in which there is less need to hide what we feel or what we are doing. As a result, feelings of fear, self-doubt, and insecurity are automatically dispelled, while at the same time other people find it easier to trust us, too. What is more, there is increasing evidence that cultivating positive mental states like kindness and compassion definitely leads to better psychological health and happiness.

From the preface of H.H. the Dalai Lama