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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

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  1,110 Ratings  ·  168 Reviews
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2007 by Tarcher/Penguin (first published August 17th 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jodi Maples, MSW, LSW
May 29, 2008 Jodi Maples, MSW, LSW rated it really liked it
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."
Apr 22, 2011 Sarah rated it did not like it
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
Mar 28, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it
A nice, soothing reminder that you shouldn't be a jerk.
Apr 18, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This started out as a 2 star read. The author was taking his views of kindness and supporting it with everything from fiction to history, and fables to ad campaigns. While I can appreciate a certain amount of ingenuity, it seemed like the author was trying to make mere kindness sound like it was elusive.

However, once, I got through the first part where he was trying to explain everything, I felt more impressed with the true message behind his words. And that I could appreciate. I also liked his
May 14, 2010 Shannon rated it liked it
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.
Dec 10, 2010 Walter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
This book is a little conflicting for me. It has some wisdom in it, a lot of stories and metaphors, and a few references to the studies it mentions.

I enjoyed the stories, but in a book that is talking about the outcomes that will occur from actions you take (e.g. being kind will make you & others happier), I like to see a bit more research on the subject (including references to the studies) and a lot less anecdotal evidence.

That being said, there were some good bits of wisdom in there and
Jan 15, 2008 Cheyenne rated it liked it
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.
Nov 18, 2012 charlie rated it really liked it
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.
Amy Day
Jan 25, 2017 Amy Day rated it really liked it
A warm and well read audible book reviewing and reaffirming the many rewards for living a life of kindness. Health, happiness, peace, love and joy fill our lives and all others through simple kindness.
Jessica Jarrett
Feb 23, 2016 Jessica Jarrett rated it it was amazing
I believe this book should be read every morning for the rest of your life; every chapter has a little excerpt by which to refocus your attention and realign your positive energy with the universe. It is not a book to be read quickly and put on the bookshelf as "finished." It is a book to be read slowly and digested just as carefully until you can in grain it's knowledge into your soul. It is a book about life long learning which can answer some of the most pressing questions about the nature of ...more
May 21, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it
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
Mar 12, 2008 STEPHANIE rated it it was amazing
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.)
Aug 05, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
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...
Jeff Giuliano
Jan 01, 2015 Jeff Giuliano rated it liked it
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.
Aug 13, 2008 Jesse rated it really liked it
Really powerful book on living a life worth loving. Great book, and one that should be reread....
Nov 20, 2016 Claudia rated it really liked it
I need to be kinder. Others need to be kinder. But how do we do that with intentionality and sincerity? Without coming across as fake?

This book links the quality of kindness with others...Honesty, Warmth, Forgiveness, Sense of Belonging, Trust, Mindfulness, Empathy, Humility, Patience, Generosity, Respect, Flexibility, Memory, Loyalty, Gratitude, Service, and Joy.

Each chapter deals with one of these qualities, and is a strange combination of scientific studies, personal stories, fables and myths
Joe Jeney
Dec 15, 2016 Joe Jeney rated it it was amazing
Definitely a 5 starer for me. Might be entitled "How to be a good person in the age of distraction and lead a good life." Covered a lot of issues I find myself thinking about (and worrying over too much.) Whilst accessible and enjoyable, it's deeper refrain revolves around nothing less than a statement of the times. Thankfully it avoids the schmaltz of template self improvers. The only downside is that once you put the book down, you're back in the real world, and your perfect way of seeing thin ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
"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
Mar 23, 2017 Silas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
None of this was really revolutionary for me, since I have been practicing intentional kindness for some time now, but it does lay out the benefits of kindness to those who, for whatever reason, don't. Even though it wasn't new, it did come at a time when I needed to hear it, and actually worked to help pull me out of a depression. It was definitely a worthwhile listen with lots of great information about the power of kindness.
Jan 30, 2017 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I so enjoyed this book on kindness. The author points out that it is in our most casual interaction that make all the difference in being kind. He promotes simple consideration, politeness, and warmth. I was so taken with his doctrine that I immediately went in search of owning my own copy so I could reference it.
Marc Fry
Jan 04, 2017 Marc Fry rated it really liked it
While offered from a new age/Buddhistic perspective; but full of good information. I'm always impressed by how God's truth is truth. Most of what was shared in this book is not new or revolutionary. It is what we already know. I appreciate the perspective and way in which is was shared.
Mar 24, 2017 Rachel rated it it was amazing
A book for everyone.
Chuck Piehl
Dec 27, 2016 Chuck Piehl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wade Anderson
Feb 03, 2017 Wade Anderson rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Inspirational: 10/10
Entertaining: 5/10
Educational: 5/10
Jan 11, 2017 Andy rated it it was ok
The biggest disappointment for a book called "the power of kindness" is that there's very little about kindness overcoming meanness. The author talks about feeling sorry for mean people because they probably have some awful personal problems that make them be mean. Whatever. Nice people having a bad day is not the problem in the world. The issue is persistently evil behavior. Does kindness fix that? If not, does kindness just enable more of the bad behavior? This is a crucial question, both pers ...more
Allison Mc
This book is a good reminder of how we all should behave. While I found some of the stories and topics interesting, there are no surprises and no new concepts. However, I would recommend this book. It offers positive reinforcement and refreshes the soul in this very negative world. I listened to the audio book which I would not recommend. The narrator was reading too fast and had very little expression.
Matt Anderson
Feb 21, 2017 Matt Anderson rated it really liked it
I tend to read a lot of spiritual books that come from a Christian worldview, but this doesn’t fit that category. It didn’t matter to me, though, because a lot of the concepts in this book are universal. Things like:

-Being kind to others is good for you.
-Being kind to others makes your life better and more meaningful.
-Optimism can make you healthier.
-Grateful people tend to be more efficient.
-Biologically, we are wired to be honest.
-We live in a culture that forces us to hurry, but we are kind
Dec 31, 2016 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a variety of reasons, November left me discouraged and wanting to close myself off from others, so I read this book to remind myself who I am and the kind of life I try to build. I did find it helpful in that process.

I definitely advocate the principles in this book, and appreciate its accessible style, but I didn't bring it up past three stars because it felt like more of an affirmation of principles I believe in than something that provided me new insights. I was never really itching to pi
Mar 06, 2011 laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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“Generosity is, by definition, disinterested.” (p.157)” 6 likes
“it is clear that our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts and kindness of so many people.” 1 likes
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