Kindness vs Compassion: Difference and Comparison

Kindness and compassion are categorized as feelings that are recognized as basic human values. It shapes the relationship between people along with shaping the community.

These two factors are believed to bring peace and happiness to the world. Kindness and compassion are limited to helping others and acting toward oneself.

But these two are confused as they require similar qualities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Kindness is a general quality of being considerate, empathetic, and helpful towards others; compassion is a deeper, more empathetic response to suffering or hardship, leading to action to alleviate it.
  2. Kindness involves simple acts of generosity or politeness, such as holding a door or saying a kind word; compassion requires a more significant emotional investment, such as volunteering or donating to a cause.
  3. Kindness is an important aspect of interpersonal relationships; compassion goes beyond personal relationships and extends to the broader community.

Kindness vs. Compassion

Helping the people who are in need is an act of kindness. A detailed description of kindness is provided in the bible. Action is more involved in kindness. Compassion is the ability to feel the pain of others. Feelings are more involved in compassion. There is no separate chapter about compassion in the bible. 

Kindness vs Compassion

Kindness is an act where one tries to help someone who is in despair or requires help. In an act of kindness, feeling towards that person is unnecessary. It can even be done without feeling anything at all.

Whereas compassion is the ability to feel for someone, experience the same things that the other person is going through, and work on it to help them.

Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonKindnessCompassion
DefineAct of trying to help others who are in need.The ability to feel for someone or experience the same to feel it.
FeelingIt does not involve much feelingInvolves deep feelings in others’ misery
ActionI might feel sorry but not act on itFeel the same emotions as the other person does
BibleMentioned in a separate chapter in the BibleNo separate reference
InvolvementI might not feel but I still doInvolvement of feelings and emotions and then acting on them.
ExampleSending flowers to someone who is ill.A  caring nurse taking care of an ill person.

What is Kindness?

Kindness is an action that is seen by others as a social signal. It includes care, affection, warmth, playfulness, generosity, consideration, and concern toward others.

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Act of kindness caters to openness and humility. Kindness encourages us to emphasize people, help those in need, and support others through difficult situations.

Kindness is one of the major topics discussed in the bible. It is quoted as “helpfulness towards someone in need, not in return for anything, nor the advantage of the helper himself, but for that of the person helped”.

It is considered one of the knightly virtues.

Acts of kindness can be proved both in small and big gestures. It can be experienced in all a heartfelt word of encouragement, a thoughtful gesture of affection, an act of generosity, and many more.

Act of kindness involves chores that have to be made as there will be more tempting or easier choices to make, such as anger and apathy, but one needs to stand strong to their core and be kind to others.

A common misconception people have about the theory of kindness is that they believe one can only be kind to others, but that is not the case. Before treating anyone, one should treat oneself with the same care and generosity.

kindness

What is Compassion?

Compassion is an inner experience. Compassion refers to “suffering together.”

It involves letting the suffering of others impact oneself and experiencing it to motivate and help others. Several factors, such as sympathy, empathy, concern, patience, wisdom, kindness, and resolution, can define acts of compassion.

Compassion includes relating to the other person on any ground, as it is only possible to sympathize or empathize with someone if we relate to that person or their experiences. Compassion can give a person the feeling f kindness and forgiveness and helps prevent a situation.

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Dalai Lama said, “Compassion is a necessity, not a luxury,” and “It is a question of human survival.” Compassion is an evolved function from a harmony of the grid of internal systems, including- a contentment-and-peace system, goals-and-drives system, and threat-and-safety system.

compassion

 Main Difference Between Kindness and Compassion

  1. Kindness is trying to help others in need or who are in despair, whereas compassion is the ability to feel for someone or experience the same amount of suffering the other person is going through and act on it.
  2. An act of kindness does not involve necessarily involve much feeling. It may or may not involve feeling, whereas compassion involves strong feelings acting upon it.
  3. In kindness, the person may feel sorry for the one in despair but not act on it. However, in the case of compassion, the person experiences the same feeling as the one in despair.
  4. The reference to kindness is mentioned in a separate chapter in the Bible, whereas for compassion, there is no separate chapter.
  5. In kindness, there might be no or very little involvement of feeling. It is majorly n action, whereas it is quite the opposite for compassion, as there is a huge involvement of feeling which is then later put into action.
Difference Between Kindness and Compassion
References
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037/a0013237
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2118238
  3. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10615-007-0091-7.pdf
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092656606000353

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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20 thoughts on “Kindness vs Compassion: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I found this article quite educational and interesting, the distinction between kindness and compassion is well presented.

    Reply
  2. I feel that the author could have provided more examples of kindness and compassion in the real world to enhance the reader’s understanding.

    Reply
  3. I found the article to be enlightening, it really emphasizes the importance of both kindness and compassion.

    Reply

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