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The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life
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The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  640 ratings  ·  107 reviews
"A book after my own heart!"—His Holiness The Dalai Lama

The Power of Kindness is a stirring examination of a simple but profound concept. Piero Ferrucci, one of the world's most respected transpersonal psychologists, explores the many surprising facets of kindness and argues that it is this trait that will not only lead to our own individual happiness and the happiness of
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Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 4th 2007 by Tarcher/Penguin (first published August 17th 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,397)
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Jodi
As I deal with a bit of back-stabbing and the bitterness in my stomach grows, it is this book that helps me strengthen the filter in my brain & NOT actually say the evil thoughts running through my head. It reminds me that compassion is a good thing, that the person not treating me kindly is probably in a very bad place herself. It helps me to remember to "Rise above it all."
Sarah
or... Cute Stuff My Son Said in the Car the Other Day.
Okay, so to be totally honest. I haven't READ this book. I picked it up for a book club, and sat down to read it, filled with giddy anticipation that it might be like Field Notes on the Compassionate Life (which I LOVED) and instead, I quickly realized that it is just a bunch of shlocky maple syrup doused over whipped cream. I began skimming over pages of sentimentalism and then starting flipping. No matter where I turned, it was still mumbo
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Cheyenne
This is a great book to dip into whenever you feel cranky, frustrated, angry, etc. It reminds you of those qualities (patience, generosity, flexibility) that are fundamental to any relationship, at home, at work—anywhere. It goes beyond self-help anecdotes to offer some fascinating science and compelling evidence behind what makes people thrive. I read it on and off for a couple months. And then I gave my copy to someone else. I asked them to give it to someone else when they were done.
Walter
This is an excellent book! It is so full of wisdom that, paradoxically, it's almost a challenge to read and process all of its insight. Piero Ferrucci, the author, is a practicing psychiatrist in Italy who uses kindness as a metaphor to explore the qualities/aspects that make a fulfilling life. In the process, he examines various aspects of kindness - from Honesty to Forgiveness to Trust to Humility to Service, etc. - including how and why they are relevant, how we should conceive of and use the ...more
Sarah
I am not a big fan of the Self help genre but this book is quite cute. Filled up with all kinds of multi-cultural and interfaith stories of the power of kindness. Slightly redundant on the health benefits of kindness, but perhaps I just am not as into that. I love how kindness the general term is broken up into all of it's virtuous counterparts, makes you truly realize how profound kindness is! An important part of life to easily overlooked in a sensational and individualistic society. The book ...more
Rachel
A nice, soothing reminder that you shouldn't be a jerk.
STEPHANIE
Jul 29, 2008 STEPHANIE rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone, everyone, you, you and you.
Recommended to STEPHANIE by: checked it out on a whim, then bought it.
Shelves: my-favorites
I highly recommend this book to anyone who thinks they know about kindness....seriously, I thought that this book wouldn't teach my anything new, but it did. And in many ways.
The author does not incorporate any sort of religious views, so there were some empty spots that I had to fill in myself. However, he does such a wonderful job at explaining how kindness is more than being nice to someone, that it is the underlying theme in many virtues (humility, honesty, forgiveness etc.)
Shannon
I was in the need for a spiritual type read and this one hit the spot. It helped re-ground me as I have become too busy and too rushed to really take things in. This reminded me that i talk too much and don't listen enough. It also reaffirmed my belief of the importance of being kind and continuing to give. Good book for my life right now.
Taylor Storey
Is it possible that "survival of the fittest" can be interpreted in human history as "survival of the kindest" ? Pierro Ferrucci, presumably his uncle Aldous Huxley and the Dalai Lama would say yes.

I walked into a bookshop and didn't find it so I asked the bookseller if it was available. I was a little bit curious as he took me to the self-help section to find this book. It is pretty anecdotal, especially towards the later parts when he trades his literature references for more cute stories, but
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Stephanie
This book hasn't inspired any huge revelations in me, and I couldn't read it all at once when I tried. But I find that a chapter once in a while, read to me by my husband at bedtime, is calming and a good reminder of how and why to be more compassionate in everyday life...
charlie
I dipped in and out of this for over a year. I really got into it recently and really enjoyed the different chapters, stories, mythology used to explain the different facets of kindness. A book i'll keep and come back to over the years.
Jesse
Really powerful book on living a life worth loving. Great book, and one that should be reread....
laura
So far I love this book. It really opens ones eyes to the acts of kindness, large and small. I suppose it is where i am in life. I have prided myself on acts of kindness that I may pass on to others. Kindness it something that is done without any expections in return. The kindness one exptends to another (a friend, relative, stranger) need never be advertised - nor should it be.
It has been a very difficult year for me. I seem to have many internal questions and an unsettling that some people who
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Rachel
"Kindness and compassion are among the principle things that make our lives meaningful. They are a source of lasting happiness and joy. They are the foundation of a good heart, the heart of one who acts out of a desire to help others. Through kindness, and thus through affection, honesty, truth, and justice toward everyone else, we ensure our own benefit. This is a matter of common sense...It is tremendously important that we try to make something positive of our lives. We are not born for the p ...more
Angi M
Not the kind of book I usually pick up. I read this for an online book club that is all about stress reduction & tranquility (things I could use), but I can't seem to keep up with them. This is the only one of their books I've finished so far. Ferrucci makes some good points and has some good ideas, but the only one that I can remember now is that he says you should think of yourself as a pot. A basic summary of the book's point is this: you gather more kindness & compassion & other ...more
Erin
This book was recommended to me, and it's just a lovely book--I read it over a few months, a chapter or two at a time, to really savor it. Ferrucci is an Italian therapist, and he just really captures how important kindness is at this time, and how it can often be challenging to find it in this increasingly remote world. He breaks up his chapters into themes-- warmth, compassion, joy, loyalty, sense of belonging, trust, mindfulness, etc.--and has fables, stories, or personal anecdotes to illustr ...more
Michael Hsu
This book discusses the various virtues such as patience, forgiveness, honesty and how they influence kindness. This is a refreshing book because the author did not take a religious angle in describing these virtues which is different from the usual religious doctrine I am accustomed to reading. While certain aspect of his discussion on virtues I disagree with, I still find this to be an interesting book.
Aimee
This is a wonderful little book that very gently talks about kindness and its ability to make our life and those around us happier. Mr. Ferrucci discusses many different aspects of kindness, some of these being honesty, warmth, forgiveness and trust. Each subject was discussed and a story was given to clarify its importance. I enjoyed all of the different stories and Mr Ferrucci did a good job of talking about the importance of kindness without preaching about it. He also included some interesti ...more
Elizabeth
I read this book as part of my yoga studio's online book club. I thought it was a nice book to read to begin the year. The author does not have a religious appropach, and each chapter discusses what he thinks is an element of kindness and includes illustrative stories spanning a variety of cultures. I particularly liked his chapter on forgiveness -- that it is not possible to be kind until you have learned to forgive yourself and others, and also the chapters on gratitude and joy. One of my favo ...more
Jill Melnicki
Seems a bit strange to deem myself qualified to write up a little review on a rather big book. Ferrucci, after all, studied at the feet of Roberto Assagioli-the founder of psychosynthesis. And I, well I am just another restless, selfish, materialistic American looking to find happiness. Oh so trendy. In this book, I do believe I may have found a sustainable way of happiness: kindness. Ferricucci has a way of completely explaining the 'why' behind variations of happiness such as forgiveness, grat ...more
Twyla
I'm not all that crazy about 'self-help' books, but I have read this one cover to cover probably 5 or 6 times, and I love it. I think everyone should read this, and I've bought it for a few different people. read it.
Naomi
A meandering exploration of the values and practices that are part of being kind and living compassionately, this is a fine book for individual and small group reflection.
Artemisia Hunt
Kindness really matters...that's the message of this valuable little book which is full of wonderful stories, both traditional and modern, that illustrate the virtue of kindness and it's various elements. Piero Ferruci is an Italian philosopher, psychotherapist, and writer who truly feels strongly about this topic. He makes the practice of kindness something that just makes good sense; yet also includes some deeply thought out gems on how kindness is really broken down into many other components ...more
Frank
Jan 02, 2013 Frank added it
I found that I started reading this highlighter in hand, and got so absorbed in it that I forgot about the highlighter after a while. The book is a great inspirational read about exactly what the title says: the Power of Kindness. Ferucci dives in to explore what Kindness really involves beyond vague sentiments. Included are such qualities as Forgiveness, Mindfulness, empathy, humility, generosity, and gratitude, among others. Each quality has a chapter devoted to it, and Ferucci weaves the whol ...more
Kristen
This book really resonated strongly with me right now. I loved that it had the unusual ability to feel "right" to me and motivate me to still want to change and do better, without being overwhelming or unrealistic. I loved the research studies he quoted and the stories he related. And I loved that he broke down the chapters into some components of kindness: honesty, warmth, forgiveness, contact, sense of belonging, trust, mindfulness, empathy, humility, patience, generosity, respect, flexibility ...more
Zachary Yeung
unexpectedly good, indisputably smooth read...
it's what a happy life comprises that's stuffed into one amazing booklet.
Jeff Giuliano
Not a terrible book, not a great book. The author uses stories and fables to illustrate his points about kindness. He separates kindness into 18 different attributes. It's a little lengthy and cumbersome but not a terrible read.
Kate
Ok, so most of my friends will tell you my biggest pet peeve is rude people. So, I found this book very interesting especially since my major was psychology. However, this book does not replace scripture but gives good insights on how being kind is the best character trait one can have. I have owned this book for some time now and pulled it out the other day to start it...and finished it two days later. Ferrucci's insights are powerful and inspiring. I'm sure to read this one again and again.
Sugu
Jan 07, 2010 Sugu rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Another reviewer (Jodi) said it really well for me too. There is a lot of bitterness and back-stabbing in the world, this is true and unavoidable.

But the title of this book says it succinctly. There is an enormous power in being kind, amidst all the hatred. Being kind to people really can transform the people around you in subtle but important ways.

Highly recommend to both read and apply in everyone's life.
Claire Frances
Honesty. Warmth. Forgiveness. Contact. Sense of belonging. Trust. Mindfulness. Empathy. Humility. Patience. Generosity. Respect. Flexibility. Memory. Loyalty. Gratitude. Service. Joy.

These words are powerful and important in your life. Piero Ferrucci expands each of these words- this book is a self-help that you need to know to do with your character with yourself and other people around you. Richard Carlson reviews, "This book says it all." Yes, this book does!
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