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The Call of Service

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  159 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
In this book, Coles explores the concept of idealism and why it necessary to the individual and society.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 15th 1994 by Mariner Books (first published 1993)
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Nov 03, 2007 Kates rated it liked it
For some time I have been thinking that I wanted to read a book about why people do service and in what forms. Here is a book that attempts to address it. I have many quotes that stuck out in my mind, although, I admit that many pages in the book either went over my head or just didn't connect with me. I DID get a pretty extensive reading list from the book I think!

"Idealism has many sources, and it must have its ups and downs in every life," - a function, of a person's commitments, state of min
Emily Kelly
Apr 01, 2015 Emily Kelly rated it it was amazing
Robert Coles’ The Call of Service is not only a book that should be read by every person involved in some kind of service but by every citizen of the world we live in today. In the novel, Robert Coles’ explores the world of those who give their lives or just parts of their lives to service. Inspired by his own parents, Coles seeks to uncover the motivations of those that live for others. Through numerous interviews over many years as well as the relaying of his own experiences, Coles highlights ...more
Erin Payseur
Mar 15, 2016 Erin Payseur rated it really liked it
This book came highly recommended, and it did not disappoint. In fact, it inspired the creation of an internship course for our community engagement project and provided a useful framework for the course - exploring the different types of service, different motivations, challenges and consequences of service, as well as looking at idealism across generations. It is a call to service as a way of life, beyond volunteerism or coursework, cultivating within us a call to give more and find more of ou ...more
Elise Jensen
Apr 01, 2008 Elise Jensen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
While this book talks primarily about volunteering, it's also really relevant for people in service vocations. Particularly when working with people generally considered disadvantaged. I think it's a very good guide for helping you examine your motives and attitudes about yourself as well as those you "help."

I was very sorry it happened to be a library book I was reading, had it been a book I bought, it would have been a good workout for my highliters.
Aug 01, 2010 Faith rated it it was amazing
So beautiful, practical, and inspiring. There's nothing like hearing real stories from real people about real lives. And then Coles is there to guide you through it all, to help you wrap your mind around these ideas, which difficult because are really such big ideas and such small ideas at the same time.
Jan 23, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
I found this book to be very insightful. Coles interviews a broad swath of volunteers and others who serve and comes away with great social and psychological analysis. For all who do service, have done service, or work with others to encourage service.
Sep 01, 2013 Tarah rated it liked it
If you work in social services, you should read this book. I headed off a lot of turmoil by reading this book right at the beginning of my career change.
Mar 17, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A look at the different reasons people feel they are called into a life of service. The benefits received and given by serving. An inspiring book for me!
Jan 14, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2011 Lynne rated it really liked it
Should be mandatory ready for anyone involved in service work. Very thought-provoking reading.
Apr 03, 2009 Robert rated it liked it
I'll post when finished
Kara Merry
Wonderful to read and true
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Child psychiatrist, author, Harvard professor.

Robert Coles is a professor of psychiatry and medical humanities at the Harvard Medical School, a research psychiatrist for the Harvard University Health Services, and the James Agee Professor of Social Ethics at Harvard College.
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