Povism’s view is that we should treat others with kindness.

This includes the following attitude:

  • Do not harm others, “do not do to others what they do not wish to be done to them”.
  • Do good things to others, “treat others as they wish to be treated”.

These statements are similar to the well-known Golden Rule. But whereas the latter evaluates actions in relation to the doer (“do / don’t do to others what you wish / do not wish to be done to you”), the version above evaluates actions in relation to the receiver. What is important is how the receiver of the action perceives it, what he likes and dislike, and not what the doer thinks. Even if I like some form of treatment, this does not mean I am allowed to treat you in this way if you do not wish it.

The above rule has many consequences. Since no one wants to be treated violently (physically or verbally) or unfairly, or to be harmed in any way, the rule forbids murder, physical assault, sexual harassment, coercion, theft, fraud, deceit, exploitation, embezzlement, littering, polluting, etc.

Kindness also includes a nice attitude towards others: politeness, civility, respect, being considerate of others, patience, friendliness, empathy, compassion. And also generosity, benevolence, helping others, encouragement, cooperation.

This approach may immediately raise a concern, which is addressed in the post about Relation to Conflict.

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