William James was an American philosopher and psychologist as well as well as one of the first educators to offer a psychology course. He lived towards the end of the nineteenth century. James was regarded as a leader in thinking and many considered him as one of the most influential philosophers the US ever produced. Others have labelled him as the “Father of American Psychology.” He was partly responsible for introducing Psychology as an area of study in the US.

Unfortunately it was more than a century before he was discovered afresh in the discipline of Psychology. He was never mentioned in any Psychology training I had. William James was rediscovered and appreciated anew when modern neuroscientists realized that many ideas he had, are similar to neuroscience research discoveries the last twenty years.

One of my favourite quote of James is: “There are three things in life that are important. The first think is to be kind; the second is to be kind and the third thing is to be kind.”


  1. What is your definition of kindness? Check this against a description in a dictionary.
  2. What do you think of James’s idea?
  3. How have you practiced kindness during the last week?
  4. Use your journal to capture your thoughts.