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Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  483 ratings  ·  56 reviews
The author of the international bestseller Happiness makes a passionate case for altruism--and why we need it now more than ever.

In Happiness, Matthieu Ricard demonstrated that true happiness is not tied to fleeting moments or sensations, but is an enduring state of soul rooted in mindfulness and compassion for others. Now he turns his lens from the personal to the global,
Hardcover, 864 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2013)
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Isabelle Sahra
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ma tante m'a donné ce livre à Noël et c'est l'un des rares livres qui m'a touchée au point de changer ma vie. Avant de le lire, j'aimais déjà le bouddhisme et ses valeurs de paix, de partage et de respect de la nature. Dans ce livre Matthieu Ricard explique pourquoi la générosité, aider les autres, respecter la terre etc pourquoi tout ça est relié. Ses propos font réfléchir et nous vont droit au coeur. J'ai par la suite acheté ce livre pour plusieurs amis.
Apr 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dharma, goodreads
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway.
There was a lot to get through in this book but everything was relevant. We all have the capacity for altruism as shown in the research the author presents. With more effort we can improve society with more attention and cultivation of this.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l-french
This is the book that never ends. It just goes on and on, my friends. Ricard is ultimately unconvincing, but he makes some great observations on happiness. Ricard insists that we are born altruistic, yet spends the majority of the first half insisting that we can learn altruism and reiterating how we can do it (with pretty good advice), which defeats his point that it's inherent. The second half of the book is completely irrelevant to altruism and is just a collection of research on how we can s ...more
Mar 19, 2015 rated it liked it
There is a lot in this book, to like and/or dislike; if you are a devout meat eater, you may not wish to read this book. It gives insight into trying to be a better person, for yourself, your family and the planet. There are many hidden agendas that are brought to the forefront by companies, people, and the government. It also shows how far money changes people and how truly consumable a society we have become but only because we have been taught. Truly a read that makes one think.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This book is only partly successful in that it successfully discusses how altruism can positively change an individual and by extension the world, but it never successfully explains how this would be globally effective in modern society (with sociopaths, Ayn Rand devotees, etc.).
Jul 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Great concept, but read like a textbook. Would love the cliff notes version!
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ethics
A looooooooooooooong read, but full of fine gems and things to discuss, debate, and consider.
Teo 2050
Ricard M (2013) (29:45) Altruism - The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and the World

– The Force of Example
– The Challenges of Today
– The Necessity for Altruism

Part I: What Is Altruism?

01. The Nature of Altruism
– Some Definitions
– Action Alone Does Not Define Altruism
– It Is Motivation That Colors Our Actions
– The Importance of Valuing the Other’s Welfare
– Altruism Does Not Require “Sacrifice”
– Temporary Mental States and Lasting Dispositions

02. Extending Altruism
– Altruistic L
Aurélie Knit & Read
Ce livre est une somme de travail colossale et fait le point de manière magistrale sur toutes les dernières recherches.
Pour ceux qui craignent un bouquin plein de phrases toutes faites, de bons sentiments un peu cheap ou à la Bisounours, ce n'est pas du tout de cela qu'il s'agit. Cet ouvrage est avant tout une synthèse factuelle, argumentée, scientifique (sans jamais être indigeste, pédante ou incompréhensible), présentant des résultats très intéressants et démontant un certains nombres d'idées
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Altruism would have been to make this book a lot shorter.

As with all self-help, what matters is if it resonates. Maybe this is the book you need now, but it didn't do it for me. I felt it lost the forest for the trees. Be nice. OK. Nuff said. That doesn't really take 864 pages. I don't think the central point requires all the scientifical and Buddhist stuff, etc.
Daniel Rickenbach
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolute must read if one is interested in more than a "Fox News" perspective of the world. I feel deeply moved after completing this work. It's importance speaks for itself. I'm glad some obscure librarian had this book on display at my local library. I will always treasure this find. It has deeply impacted my life.
Jul 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I thought the book was really good. I do think that there were some problems, though. I wasn't quite convinced by his argument that there's altruism in nature. There's some, but there's also a lot of predatory behavior. But I do think that book is needed and worthwhile.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for everyone.
Dvir Oren
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
altruism makes you feel better and is a part of human behaviour
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'Read' as an audiobook...recommend it consumed that way - though an exhaustive conversation, not difficult to digest.
Michael Armijo
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My dear friend, Barbara Reynolds, who now lives in Petaluma, CA informed me in a handwritten letter that she’d seen Matthieu Ricard on some talk show and was intrigued about his book, ALTRUISM. It inspired me to order my own copy from Amazon.com. I’m glad I did.
This book is almost like a text book about how to live a more enriched and fulfilling life by being compassionate through love and sharing. I loved the many lines and tips I received. It took me a long time to read as I wanted to enrich m
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
So this is a monster of a book and I didn’t agree with every single word. There was a section in here about vegetarianism that I found a wee bit lacking based on what I know about how animals on the landscape contribute to planetary health. But overall, it’s quite comprehensive and, frankly, should be a textbook for, like, sophomores in high school. No stone is left unturned. It goes through the definitions of empathy, altruism, even institutional selfishness. How we eat, what we buy, who we ele ...more
Karl Mitchell
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished this over a month ago. However, I wanted to take the time to formulate a review because it's SO good. In all fairness, I didn't technically read it, but rather listened (thanks Hoopla/St Louis County Library!). As such, I don't have an easy way to reference quotes, etc.

That said, he mentions several times in the book wanting to present an overview of Altruism. If 800 pages or a 30 hour audio book counts as an overview, I can't imagine what he thinks of as in depth.

Ricard touches on no
David Germain
Écoute en audio d'une version abrégée du texte. C'est bien, ça couvre le concept d'altruisme au sens large, en passant par l'alimentation végétalienne et les changements climatiques, mais ça m'a laissé sur ma faim. Ça ne fait que couvrir des études ou des résultats de recherches, incluant les anecdotes qui viennent avec. Personnellement, je suis convaincu de l'importance du concept d'altruisme. Je voulais de ce livre comprendre comment le mettre en place et l'appliquer d'un point de vue personne ...more
Jeni Miles
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Five stars for the book's overall message as I got a lot of value from it.

However, three stars overall for being far longer than it needed to be. The constant copy/paste of quotes can be really helpful to better convey the key messages of the book, but at times the quotes were so excessive I lost track of who the actual author was!
Lennie Noiles
I wanted to love this book. It started off strong but soon it started preaching to the converted.
I'm sure there will be a lot of nodding heads from people who are already inclined to believe in Altruism and compassion, which I do.
I could find nothing here that was going to change peoples behaviors or beliefs.
Keith Corbin
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Deep and powerful

One of the best books I have read in a long time. This well researched, lengthy tome shows so much about humanity and our potential. I do not know how this book will ultimately change my life,but I know it will.
Tinne Nuyts
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Niet meteen het meest geanimeerd leeswerk, maar wel heel interessante informatie om eens helemaal samen te hebben.
Nicoleta Rascol
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Quite long but there are so many interesting topics. one may think that this book should be split in two or more books with subjects that are complementary but different in the same time.
Daniel Demarle
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A LONG Read and at times a bit of a slog, but many, many, many excellent points that make it worthwhile and give it a 5 rating.
Julia Wahl
Nov 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the most important books I've read. Ever. Lots of very important evidence that points out the profound positive effect of altruism on the lives of individuals, groups, nations and our world.
Andrew Peters
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book.
Cee Black
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
Charles Dion
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Reads like a text book with interludes of deeply moving poetry.
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Born in 1946, Matthieu Ricard is a Buddhist monk, an author, translator and photographer. He has lived, studied and worked in the Himalayan region for over forty years.

The son of French philosopher Jean-François Revel and artist Yahne Le Toumelin, Matthieu grew up among the personalities and ideas of Paris’ intellectual and artistic circles. He earned a Ph.D degree in cell genetics at the renowned
“Voluntary simplicity is at once joyous and altruistic. Joyous because it is not permanently plagued by the hunger for “more”; altruistic because it does not encourage the disproportionate concentration of resources in the hands of a few, resources which—were they to be spread evenly—would significantly improve the lives of those deprived of basic needs.” 5 likes
“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. —GANDHI T” 3 likes
More quotes…