Books: Helping others can help us get through hard times

The Hidden Gifts of Helping

In his book, The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times, Stephen G. Post weaves personal experiences with scientific research, philosophy and spiritual principles in a discussion of how helping others brings benefits.

Post knows what he is talking about, personally and professionally. He has a long list of credentials, degrees, awards, and publications in the field. His personal and professional life regularly keeps him in practice teaching, advocating and modeling a helping ethic. His family members also follow his lead. Post shares the stories of how he and his family helped others during and after a difficult move from Chicago to New York in 2008, after 20 years in Chicago. Post's personal narrative serves as a thread that ties altruistic concepts together and underscore his theme.

Although the basic premise of the book is not new, this subject is timely during these recessionary times and worth repeating.

At times I found the book slow going due to scholarly information, philosophy and research findings. More anecdotes would have made concepts vivid and the narrative more lively.

Post is beyond well-qualified to write on this subject. His credentials are impressive. He is Professor of Preventive Medicine, Head of the the Division of Medicine in Society, and Director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. Prior to that he was Professor of Bioethics, Religion and Philosophy, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University and Senior Research Scholar at the Becket Institute of St. Hugh's College, Oxford University. Post is president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, supported in part by the Templeton Foundation, for which he also serves as Trustee. And the list goes on. Read more here.

Disclosure: B&B Media Group provided me a free copy of this book for review. There were no requirements for a favorable review.

Have you found helping others yields unexpected gifts? How?

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