Leo Tolstoy
· The Circle of Reading
Translated by Dmitry Fadeyev

January 7

Kindness is essential in human relationships. If you are not kind to another, then you are not fulfilling your main duty.


We must respect every person, however pathetic or ridiculous he might be. Remember that the spirit that dwells within every human being is the same as the one in us. Even when a person is repulsive in both spirit and body, we must think: “Yes, even such monsters must exist in the world, and we must tolerate them.” If we are to show our revulsion to such people, then, firstly, we are unjust, and secondly, we challenge such people to a battle to the death. Whatever he is, he cannot remake himself, so what else is he to do other than to fight us, as a mortal enemy? After all, we want to be kind to him, but only if he stops being the way he is. But this he cannot do. And that is why we must be kind to every person, whatever he may be, and we must not demand from him something that he is incapable of doing, that he become someone else.

— After Schopenhauer


Do not be cruel to the one who is being tempted, but try to console him the same way you would like to be consoled.

— From “Devout Thoughts”


  1. Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
  2. Do not force someone else to do what you can do yourself.
  3. Pride is more costly than all that is needed for food, drink, accommodation and clothing.
  4. How much have we suffered from the things that never happened but merely could have happened?
  5. Whenever you get angry, before doing or saying anything, count to ten. If your temper does not improve, count to a hundred, and if it still does not improve, count to a thousand.

— After Jefferson


Do not despise anyone, suppress unkind judgements and wounded suspicions about your neighbor in your heart, always interpret to yourself in best light the deeds and words of others.

— From “Devout Thoughts”


The holy man does not have a hard heart. He attunes his heart to the hearts of all people. He treats a virtuous person as one who is virtuous, and an immoral person as one who is capable of virtue.

— Eastern wisdom


The wiser and kinder you are, the more you see the goodness in others.

Kindness makes life beautiful by resolving all conflicts, the complicated is made clear, the difficult easy and the gloomy joyous.