The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life

Piero Ferrucci, Author, Vivien Reid Ferrucci, Translator , trans. from the Italian by Vivien Ferrucci, foreword by the Dalai Lama. Tarcher $22.95 (227p) ISBN 978-1-58542-519-8

Kindness is synonymous with mental health," writes Ferrucci, whose belief that kindness benefits both the giver and the receiver informs this study. Honesty, forgiveness, trust and humility are among the qualities that make up kindness. Italian psychotherapist Ferrucci (What Our Children Teach Us ), who writes in a soothing, humane manner, studied with psychiatrist Roberto Assagiolli, founder of psychosynthesis, a school that focuses on spiritual growth and positive qualities such as faith and joy. Laced with stories from religion and philosophy, anecdotes from patients and personal experience, the book explores how Ferrucci's ideas can be applied to everyday life. In "Forgiveness," he describes how a Holocaust survivor was able to forgive those who murdered his family and explains that forgiveness is the only remedy for unspeakable suffering. In the section on service, he suggests small ways one can benefit the lives of others, such as telling a joke to lift a friend's spirits or offering to make dinner for someone who needs time to rest. Ferrucci offers a fine reminder of how good, and how easy, it is to be kind. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 05/29/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-58542-588-4
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