“Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in the world.  [Kindness] can change the lives of people.”

Aung San Suu Kyi in her speech accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on June 16, 2012

The prize had been awarded to her 21 years ago, but she has been under house arrest and was not allowed  to leave her country, Myanmar.  Recently she was freed, and she is now a member of Parliament in Myanmar.

4 thoughts on “Kindness


    I was reading through the cards [condolence] before I put them away. I came to Rosemary Cooley’s and read it carefully. She was a first year teacher and Grandma, the other first grade teacher, helped her in 1960-1961. I was a freshman in high school. Rosemary is now 75—ten years older than me. It has been over fifty years since then and they have not kept in contact. She still felt strongly enough to want to come, write a personal note, bring flowers, and offer to continue to put flowers on Grandma’s grave in the years ahead. That is amazing. I wish I could tell Grandma, but I will tell you. It’s a reminder to all of us that we never know how much our kindness and caring will matter to someone else.


  2. I loved this quote so much that I looked up the text of Kyi’s entire Nobel Prize speech. Here is a longer section from which your quote was taken:

    “The peace of our world is indivisible. As long as negative forces are getting the better of positive forces anywhere, we are all at risk. It may be questioned whether all negative forces could ever be removed. The simple answer is: “No!” It is in human nature to contain both the positive and the negative. However, it is also within human capability to work to reinforce the positive and to minimize or neutralize the negative. Absolute peace in our world is an unattainable goal. But it is one towards which we must continue to journey, our eyes fixed on it as a traveller in a desert fixes his eyes on the one guiding star that will lead him to salvation.
    Even if we do not achieve perfect peace on earth, because perfect peace is not of this earth, common endeavours to gain peace will unite individuals and nations in trust and friendship and help to make our human community safer and kinder.
    I used the word ‘kinder’ after careful deliberation; I might say the careful deliberation of many years. Of the sweets of adversity, and let me say that these are not numerous, I have found the sweetest, the most precious of all, is the lesson I learnt on the value of kindness. Every kindness I received, small or big, convinced me that there could never be enough of it in our world. To be kind is to respond with sensitivity and human warmth to the hopes and needs of others. Even the briefest touch of kindness can lighten a heavy heart. Kindness can change the lives of people.”

    Stunning. Thank you for posting this quote. For those who are interested, here is a link to a transcript of the entire speech:

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