The Power of Kindness

The Power of Kindness by Piero FerrucciFull Title: The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life
Author: Piero Ferrucci
Publisher: Jeremy P. Tarcher (2007)
Number of Pages: 274
How long it took me to read: 2 weeks, 6 days
Where I bought this book: San Francisco International Airport
ISBN: 978-1-58542-588-4

Like a Moth to a Flame

What better time to read about kindness then on my way to Vegas?!

Favorite Five

My favorite 5 quotes from this book are:

5. “A revealing aspect of empathy, a true test, is joy at other people’s success…” (p.113)

4. “Kindness is trusting and ready to risk; it brings us closer to others.” (p.89)

3. “Flexibility is a form of practical wisdom, an intelligence that lives in the present, that knows how to read the slightest sign of change and then has the facility and pliability necessary for adapting to the new conditions. This kind of wisdom comes from understanding that we cannot control every single element of our existence.” (pp.180-81)

2. “No life is banal. We are all interesting and, even if we do not realize it, we all have a story to tell.” (p.155)

…and my pick for the No.1 quote is…

1. “Generosity is, by definition, disinterested.” (p.157)

Conversation with the Reader

While I read, I write, and as I write, I read. Here’s some of what I wrote while I read this book:

“‘Authenticity’, ‘knowing oneself’ and ‘truth’ are coming up a lot lately – from many sources, this book being the latest messenger. It jumped off the shelf at me at the airport in San Francisco. I’m learning to listen.”

“Slightly boring actually – not what I expected after reading the cover and the table of contents. You’d think that if the Dalai Lama gives a book praise, it’s going to be a page-turner. Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but Ferrucci seems to discredit many of the points he tries to make by the way he arranges his words.”

“An enriching perspective on humanity.”

“I don’t understand how Ferrucci transitions from one paragraph to another. It often feels like each paragraph introduces a new thesis, or as though he pasted together a number of disjointed anecdotes that vaguely support an already confusing argument. If the chapters didn’t have such clear titles, I wouldn’t know what point he was trying to make on most pages. Having said that, I’m learning something from him – about kindness, and perhaps also about writing. I know it seems strange for me to write a disapproving observation about his writing and then say I’m learning about kindness, but sometimes being truthful is kinder than being polite, don’t you think?”

“A part of me has been rushing through the final pages of the book in an attempt to finish it today. Another side of me found a deep connection with a powerful message introduced in the final pages and I’m hesitant to let go of that connection. It’s only the words on these last few pages that are making me question the way I’ve judged the book thus far. In the end, is it about the quality of the writing, or is it about the message? What if the quality of the writing prevents the author from sharing a message that he’s mastered? What if the lesson is the writing?”

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