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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

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,988 ratings  ·  263 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 o
Paperback, 288 pages
Published October 4th 2007 by Tarcher/Penguin (first published November 30th 2005)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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 ·  1,988 ratings  ·  263 reviews

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Jodi Maples, MSW, LSW
May 29, 2008 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." ...more
Apr 22, 2011 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
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 it
May 14, 2010 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. ...more
Apr 18, 2015 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
Dec 10, 2010 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
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-have
I absolutely loved this book!
I think this is one of the books that has everything to do with timing. Had I read it a couple of years ago, I think I’d have found it rather dull and stating the obvious. But the fact that I read this book at this point of my life made it really helpful. It felt like some compassionate voice reminding me of all the ways to be kind, the small things & the big things, and also all the reasons one should be kind, to others surely, but to one’s self as well.
The entire
Jan 15, 2008 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.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This should be required reading for every human being.
Feb 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book many years ago but only pulled it off my shelf to read recently. Perhaps I felt the world needed kindness even more in 2020 or perhaps quarantine finally gave me the time to devote to it. Whatever inspired me to choose this book from among the many others on my shelf (so many books, so little time), I'm glad I did. It is a lovely, thoughtful, and wise study of the many qualities that make up true kindness (no superficial sentimentality here) that somehow manages to be both cha ...more
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved listening to this audiobook. Highly recommend.
I love a book that improves my life and self, and this one was very enjoyable to listen to and immediately applicable. After only listening to it once or twice, I already found several applications and put it to use in my life.
I went back and got a copy to highlight all the quotes and insights that I liked the first time while listening.
The first chapter on honesty was so good. Such a great foundation for kindness.
I liked the variety of sou
Nov 18, 2012 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. ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the type of book everyone should read once a year, at least. It's so easy to understand and apply to daily life. I felt optimistic every time I opened it. It's beautiful. ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Annual read

This is a book I’ll want to read annually. So much truth and wisdom- I’ll need much more time to soak it in.
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lots of thinking after this book. It was the book I needed to read now. I will reread, but a chapter here and there as I need it
Amy Day
Jan 25, 2017 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.
DNF. It feels a bit cruel to leave an unkind review for this book, but here we are. (Note: Has this joke been made multiple times already in the reviews section?) (Update: Only somewhat.) This book didn’t click with me at all and felt way too much like an inspirational page-a-day calendar. I wanted to like it, but I wanted more evidence and less sections that began, “There’s an old Buddhist/Christian/Sentinelese story that goes like this . . .” If you’re going to convince me to chat up strangers ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it liked it
No great revelations.
JM Pama
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This has turned into a daily read. Always relevant.
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
A compelling argument for Kindness and its associated virtues. I love the way the author uses stories from multiple cultures to make his point.

It's validating on the one hand, but a stark reminder of what can happen if we are NOT kind.

Let's just be nice, eh?
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. I feel good I'm on the right track but still have work to do especially with patience. ...more
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
"The fabric of our life is made of care, solidarity, mutual service."

"If we give warmth, we do not end up feeling cold. The benefit is symmetrical. In giving our warmth--and so too our vital presence, our positive, nonjudgmental attitude, our heart--we can bring into the lives of those near to us vital, sometimes extraordinary, changes. And we, too, do not remain unchanged."

"Empathy is a prerequisite for communication, collaboration, and social cohesion. If we annul it, we return to savagery--or
Lenya Hendriks
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
I had to read this for school - and I still gave it 5 stars.
For me, this is one of those powerful books that will be revisited often. My copy has notes in the margins, highlighted passages and shows the bent pages, food crumbs and stains that (in my humble opinion) all good books have. That being said - I only treat my own books like that, not anything I have borrowed :) This is the type of book that you buy for friends, write an inscription in, and tag chapters that you think will resonate wit
May 21, 2012 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
Jessica Jarrett
Feb 23, 2016 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
STEPHanie Collao
Mar 12, 2008 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 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... ...more
Jeff Giuliano
Jan 01, 2015 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. ...more
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Really powerful book on living a life worth loving. Great book, and one that should be reread....
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Piero Ferrucci is a psychotherapist and a philosopher. He graduated from the University of Torino in 1970.

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