N4L 123: "The Power of Kindness" by Piero Ferrucci

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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

Issuing a warning against “global cooling,” world-renowned Italian psychotherapist Piero Ferrucci offers a guide for individual and societal well-being in his book, The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life.

In his tenth-anniversary edition, Ferruci delivers in great depth 19 distinct facets of kindness. With his own gentle and genteel demeanor, he offers up solutions to help turn us away from cynicism, violence, and narcissism. “Writing with a rare combination of sensitivity and intellectual depth, Dr. Ferrucci shows that, ultimately, kindness is not a luxury in our world but rather a necessity for us all.”

KEY POINTS

  • At a United Nations conference, experts discussed forgiveness as a medical issue since withholding forgiveness correlates directly with serious health threats such as hypertension.
  • In this age of digitization, we diminish conversations and detract from opportunities to connect with others through verbal and nonverbal cues even by merely leaving a cellphone on the table during a meal.
  • Reading novels helps us develop both emotional and cognitive empathy.
  • Humor can help us take ourselves less seriously and develop humility.
  • A sense of awe, especially when we feel it in nature or experience it with beauty, helps put us in perspective.
  • Time opulence – a feeling of having all the time in the world – increases as we serve others.
  • Represented by water, adaptability (also seen as flexibility and availability) is the paramount virtue in Taoism.

QUOTES FROM FERRUCCI

  • “Kindness is the simplest way of coping with so many hurdles, of feeling better, of enjoying life. It is problem solver #1.”
  • “Kindness is its own reward.”
  • “Forgiveness is a positive quality. It contains joy and faith in others, generosity of spirit. Illogical and surprising, sometimes sublime, it frees us from the ancient chains of resentment. Whoever forgives, feels uplifted.”
  • “The quality of attention you give to a person is the quality of the relationship.”
  • “Empathy is the best means of improving any relationship.”
  • “We’re completely equipped, programmed, and built to be empathic. It’s what we are!”
  • “When people experience a sense of awe, their ego begins to shrink.”
  • “In these times of accelerated pace…patience is an unpopular and seemingly tedious quality.”
  • “One component of kindness is a happy disposition. And akin to happiness is humor—a capacity to see the contradictions and absurdities of our life and not take ourselves too seriously. Anyone who has this quality is safe from emotional inflation and the dramas of everyday life.”
  • “Getting married and having children made me more human…and put me much more in touch with the reality of feelings.”

BUY The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life--Tenth Anniversary Edition

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