From an interview with Stephen Fry where he discussed what he wished he had known at age 18:
“I suppose the thing I’d most would have like to have known or be reassured about is that in the world is what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment or anything else is kindness. And the more in the world you encounter kindness, and cheerfulness (which is kind of its amiable uncle or aunt), just the better the world always is – and all the big words: virtue, justice, truth, are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.”
Kindness just keeps surfacing as a primary theme when pondering what makes for an excellent life. All the striving for achievement and wealth and happiness… Just being kind can change a moment, your day, your life and the lives of those you meet.