The arch-realist Thucydides reminds us, in this as in other things, of a timeless truth, namely that kindness can pay generous dividends.  It got me thinking of moments when we could have flipped a situation to a more positive outcome if we’d surprised someone with kindness.

And you will find that an act of kindness done at the right moment has a power to dispel old grievances quite out of proportion to the act itself.  See also his comment on loving beautiful things or things of the mind. 

See a touching instance of the power of kindness from one human to another; and another example, this time concerning a dog.

Source: Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, trans. by Rex Warner (Harmondsworth: Penguin Classics, 1959), p. 37

Photo credit: Stefano Valtorta at unsplash


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