N4L 160: "HumanKind" by Brad Aronson

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By Janet Perry, Janet Perry: blogger, and Nonfiction book lover. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

SUMMARY

Brad Aronson, author of the National Bestseller HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act a Time, discovered content when his wife was recovering from leukemia. Inspired by the many demonstrations of "humankindness" that supported their family through this dark time, he began writing a blog. Then, realizing that even the smallest of gestures from friends and strangers can lift, Aronson began seeking out simple acts of kindness across the globe. Collecting these good deeds of everyday heroes, Aronson now offers HumanKind. But it’s more than just a compilation of feel-good anecdotes. The book also provides a resource section filled with dozens of ideas, organizations, and service opportunities to motivate anyone wanting to “change the world one small act at a time.”

"The most uplifting and life-affirming book in years" (Forbes). All author royalties go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.

KEY IDEAS

  • Barriers to offering acts of kindness include feeling we can’t make a difference or feeling awkward reaching out to others.
  • Small acts of kindness can have large ripple effects.
  • The best way to start making a difference is by taking baby steps (e.g., sending a text, sharing a joke).
  • Long-term follow-up is invaluable to those in long-term difficult circumstances.
  • We don’t have to solve everyone’s problems; we just need to be there and be ourselves.

QUOTES FROM ARONSON

  • “I believe that most people are good.”
  • “We all have different gifts to give—what’s important is rising to the occasion, whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.”
  • “Just doing anything matters!”
  • “[Heroes] don’t command an army of helpers or have an abundance of free time. They’re everyday people who focus on what they can do to make a difference. Their acts of kindness change lives and even save them. These everyday heroes don’t just hope the world will get better—they make it better.”
  • “Conversation is a medicine any of us can dispense and it provides lasting respite.”
  • “No expression of love is wasted, and even the smallest gestures tend to go much further than we think they will.”

BUY HumanKind: Changing the World One Small Act At a Time

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