"The smallest act of kindness
is worth more than
the greatest intention."
Khalil Gibran
(1883-1931) Lebanese-American philosophical essayist, novelist, mystical poet, and artist
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Reader comments about this quote:
Too often we have great or good intentions which bear no fruit.
 -- Sandra, Dallas     
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US      
    by definition there is no retort
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    I find this a bit too simplistic. We constantly could carry out acts of material kindness that would bring us to material ruin, while not achieving much in the way of generally inspiring excellence. We could dedicate ourselves, on the other hand, to bringing reforms that would create a kinder reality for people, in general, if we had such an intention and were committed to achieving it. An unsupported intention practically is nothing more than an idea. An unfulfilled intention that receives great effort in its support is probably better than any individual act of kindness.
     -- David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood     
    To our 'one star general' - bafflegab! - and everyone knows it. This quote is the flip side of the old saw: "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions".
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
    The first time Congress showed kindness in the form of welfare, is what results in high taxes today. Those on welfare will keep taking and demanding more, while our taxes continue to increase. Before 1913 people paid less than 8% in total taxes, and today more than 50%.
     -- Joe, Rochester, MI     
    I agree with Rosenthal that this quote is simplistic, but honestly, I think it's very true.
     -- Anonymous     
    Not shooting the messenger, on its face, we hold this truth to be self evident. Joe, government welfare is not kindness no matter what the carnal gods claim. A government that provides forms of welfare is not a body politic limited to life, liberty and property or that represents the inalienable rights of the individual sovereign. A government that offers forms of welfare is a statist theocracy in toto aloof from 'We The People'. Funding forms of state welfare begins with larceny, then expands into spreading the ill gotten booty with required and attached strings of control, philosophy and religion. Existence may be extended by forms of government welfare but, kindness does not legitimately associate therewith.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
     -- jim k, Austin      
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