Ask Difference

Kindness vs. Goodness — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on November 3, 2023
Kindness is the act of being friendly and considerate. Goodness is the quality of being morally good or virtuous.
Kindness vs. Goodness — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Kindness and Goodness


Key Differences

Kindness is an action characterized by acts of generosity or consideration, often without expecting anything in return. It manifests in thoughtful deeds towards others. Goodness, however, is a broader quality that encompasses all aspects of moral integrity and virtue. It implies an inherent trait rather than a single act.
Goodness is the innate quality that compels individuals to do what is right or moral in various situations. It is often associated with a person’s character. Kindness can be seen as an expression of goodness, one way that a person’s moral character is demonstrated through actions.
While kindness is the quality of being warm-hearted and considerate, it often involves empathy and compassion in interpersonal relationships. Goodness is the state of having ethical qualities and can include kindness, but also encompasses honesty, fairness, and integrity on a more general scale.
Kindness can often be measured by specific actions and behavior toward others. For example, helping an elderly person carry groceries is an act of kindness. Goodness is more abstract and is a guiding principle behind behavior, which can be more challenging to measure because it is an internal moral compass.
The essence of kindness is in the doing, in the momentary acts that bring comfort or aid to others. Goodness is the enduring attribute that informs and shapes one's overall behavior and approach to life. It’s possible for someone to perform an act of kindness without being good in character, but goodness invariably leads to acts of kindness.

Comparison Chart


The act of being generous and considerate.
The quality of being morally good.


Action-oriented, expressed in specific acts.
Character-oriented, a general moral state.


Interpersonal, often involving empathy.
Broad, related to overall ethical behavior.


Observable through actions.
More abstract, related to moral character.

Relationship to Other

An expression or part of goodness.
Encompasses kindness and other virtues.

Compare with Definitions


Kindness involves being friendly and considerate in behavior.
A moment of kindness can change someone's entire day.


Goodness is the quality of being morally right and virtuous.
Her goodness is admired by everyone in the community.


Kindness is the quality of being warm-hearted and compassionate.
He offered his seat to the elderly woman, an act of pure kindness.


Goodness encompasses a life led by integrity and honesty.
The goodness of her character was without question.


Kindness is a gentle and nurturing approach to others.
Kindness in his words brought comfort to his friends.


Goodness is the essence of a person’s ethical and moral principles.
His actions were guided by an unwavering sense of goodness.


Kindness is showing generosity and concern for others.
Her kindness was evident when she volunteered at the shelter.


Goodness is the state of being kind, fair, and just.
Goodness shines through in times of trouble.


Kindness is the willingness to do good and help others.
The kindness of strangers restored her faith in humanity.


The state or quality of being good.


Kindness is a type of behavior marked by acts of generosity, consideration, or concern for others, without expecting praise or reward. Kindness was one of the main topics in the Bible.


The beneficial or nutritious part.


The quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate
He thanked them for their kindness and support


Used to express mild surprise.


The quality or state of being kind.


(uncountable) The state or characteristic of being good.


An instance of kind behavior
Your kindnesses won't be forgotten.


(countable) The good, nutritional, healthy part or content of something.


The state of being kind.
Jamie's kindness is legendary, so much that people have taken advantage of her.


Thank goodness that the war is over!


An instance of kind or charitable behaviour.
Do me a kindness and leave.
I'm going to turn a blind eye to this misdemeanour, out of the kindness of my heart.


(Christianity) The moral qualities which constitute Christian excellence; moral virtue.


The state or quality of being kind, in any of its various senses; manifestation of kind feeling or disposition beneficence.
I do fear thy nature;It is too full o' the milk of human kindnessTo catch the nearest way.
Unremembered actsOf kindness and of love.


Short form of goodness me.


A kind act; an act of good will; as, to do a great kindness.


The quality of being good in any of its various senses; excellence; virtue; kindness; benevolence; as, the goodness of timber, of a soil, of food; goodness of character, of disposition, of conduct, etc.


The quality of being warm-hearted and considerate and humane and sympathetic


That which is good or valuable or useful;
Weigh the good against the bad
Among the highest goods of all are happiness and self-realization


Tendency to be kind and forgiving


Moral excellence or admirableness;
There is much good to be found in people


A kind act


Goodness refers to the inherent value found in ethical actions.
He believed in the basic goodness of people.

Common Curiosities

What is kindness?

Kindness is the quality of being considerate, caring, and helpful toward others.

What does goodness mean?

Goodness is the quality of being morally good, virtuous, and righteous.

Can someone be kind but not good?

It is possible to act with kindness without having a good moral character.

Is goodness more than being kind?

Yes, goodness includes a range of virtues including integrity, fairness, and honesty.

Can you show goodness through kindness?

Yes, kindness is often an act that reflects inner goodness.

Are kindness and goodness innate or learned?

Both can be innate but are also fostered through life experiences and choices.

Is kindness always a part of goodness?

Kindness is a component of goodness but does not encompass all that goodness is.

How can we practice kindness?

By performing thoughtful deeds and showing empathy towards others.

Do kindness and goodness affect society?

Yes, both can positively influence and improve social interactions and community well-being.

Is kindness always selfless?

Kindness often involves selflessness, but it can also bring joy to the person being kind.

Can goodness exist without kindness?

Goodness should lead to kindness, but one can have good intentions without specific kind acts.

Does kindness require action?

Yes, kindness is usually demonstrated through actions, even if it’s simply offering a smile.

Can acts of kindness and goodness be taught?

Yes, through example and education, individuals can learn to be kinder and cultivate goodness.

Does goodness have a religious connotation?

Goodness can have religious connotations but is also a secular moral concept.

Is goodness a universal concept?

While definitions of goodness can vary, it is generally a universally valued quality.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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