An Examination of the Roots of Compassion, Altruism, and Empathy, and the Ordinary Individuals Who Help Others in Extraordinary WaysBook - 1999
As human beings, we're capable of both good and evil. But modern writers, scholars, and theologians seem to focus on the pathology of evil to the exclusion of all else. The morning news reports murder and mayhem until we're numb, but when was the last time the announcer described an act of spontaneous, selfless altruism?Kathleen A. Brehony, a Jungian-oriented psychotherapist, refuses to believe that goodness is the exception in human nature. Tracing the origins of compassion through psychology, religion, and biology, she probes the motivations behind selfless acts and demonstrates that grace is more commonplace than evil--it just reveals itself more quietly.Brehony has traveled the country to prove her point. Drawing on interviews she conducted, she tells the stories of people from all walks of life who reach out to others with no expectation of reward. Their actions extend a continuous thread of compassion stretching back to the earliest human societies, and yet we often forget to notice such selfless acts.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 1999.
Characteristics: 242 p. ;,23 cm.