The Happiness Lab Delegate's Guide Chapter 2 — Kindness - Page 2

02 The noble life O ne of the most dramatic illustrations of someone living a kind life is that exhibited by ex-convict Jean Valjean in the novel Les Misérables. If kindness epitomises the qualities of being friendly, generous, and considerate, then Valjean lives this out in his dealing with Cossette, the daughter of one of his anonymous and insignifi cant factory workers. Valjean takes responsibility for Cossette in line with the 20 deathbed request of her mother. With a plot set in 19th-century France, we see this one man shine out in the darkness of despair as again and again he expresses incredible acts of kindness to ensure Cossette’s happiness. Whether people are kind for selfi sh reasons or altruistic ones, there is no doubt that there is incredible power in being kind to others. As Valjean’s life illustrates, its impact can be felt physically, emotionally, and spiritually.