By Robert Wuthnow
Robert Wuthnow unearths that people who find themselves so much fascinated by acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than someone else--and that people who are the main intensely individualistic aren't any much less enthusiastic about taking care of others. Robert Wuthnow reveals that people who are so much curious about acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than a person else--and that those people who are the main intensely individualistic are not any much less considering taking care of others.
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Additional resources for Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves
Janet had “had it up to here” with school committees, so she vowed she was not going to do volunteer work just to overcome her loneliness. ” But one day, while she was doing some gardening in her backyard, a neighbor came over to talk. ” So Janet decided to attend Women’s Week. “When I walked in I felt very comfortable and everybody welcomed me, and there were sign-up sheets, and my girlfriend next door had said sign everything because it doesn’t bind you, they’ll just 33 CHAPTER 2 call and talk to you about it, and you can pick out what you’re interested in.
I knew that. So the fourth time I went, it worked—for whatever reason. AA got me sober and has changed my life around. ” In this very literal sense, AA is Marge’s life. 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.
They have diagnosed important features of our society that must be dealt with in order to understand and advance caring behavior. There is indeed a large dose of self-interest in much that we think of as altruism. There is also an important therapeutic dimension in caring—a dimension of self-knowing that is essential to anyone’s ability to reach out in love toward others. But both interlocutors also reveal something deeper. They are themselves symptomatic of how important it is in our culture to reconcile our individualistic and our altruistic tendencies.
Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves by Robert Wuthnow