Download Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves by Robert Wuthnow PDF

By Robert Wuthnow

Robert Wuthnow reveals that people who are so much concerned with acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than a person else--and that people who find themselves the main intensely individualistic are not any much less excited about taking good care of others. Robert Wuthnow unearths that those who find themselves so much considering acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than a person else--and that people who find themselves the main intensely individualistic aren't any much less all for taking good care of others.

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Of course it is possible. And there would be even more of it if people had more free time and were encouraged to give. What we need are more effective appeals, better advertising, more attention to the incentives that make people willing to give, more consideration of the situations in which it becomes possible to give. Or, one might say, look at the feelings of which compassion consists. Of course compassion is possible, at least for most people. A mother catches her hand in the bathroom door; on seeing her grasp it, wincing with pain, her infant daughter does the same.

At this point in his life, he exhibits little sympathy for physicians who make huge salaries. But he also 27 CHAPTER 2 admits he would not mind being paid for what he does. He will undoubtedly succeed in channeling into his profession his desire to help people. How well he will be able to balance his compassion for others against his rugged individualism is less predictable. He acknowledges that everyone must find the appropriate balance for himself or herself, but remains unclear about how best to accomplish that task.

Her closest friends are part of the AA community. One of the women she sponsored became her business partner. Another is now Marge’s sponsor. Marge recognizes not only that the program is what keeps her alive, but also that it animates her entire life. 29 CHAPTER 2 At the meetings she attends twice weekly, she sees herself in other people. In the newcomers she sees what life would be like if she started drinking again. She also shares their joys. “I see those same people’s victories, as they ease up, and it gets better, and their life gets simpler, and they find that they can handle being a human being without having to run away from it.

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