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The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times

ISBN: 978-0-470-88781-3
224 pages
February 2011, Jossey-Bass
The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times (0470887818) cover image

Description

The world's religions affirm it to be so and recent research across a number of disciplines tell us that "Helping others not only benefits those we assist but is good for us as well." The recent and astonishingly generous outpouring of help and donations in response to the earthquake in Haiti is a clear demonstration of this phenomenon, but what if we could be convinced to make helping others a way of life, even when times are hard?
  • Post is author of the widely praised Why Good Things Happen to Good People
  • Filled with inspirational anecdotes about the transformative power of doing good
  • The author is a leader in the study of altruism, compassion, and love as well as the President of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love
  • Beautiful packaging, ideal for gift giving

The Hidden Gifts of Helping Others will leave you with the unshakable feeling that the world is an essentially good place.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: On the Move.

1 Learning to Travel on Life's Mysterious Journey.

2 The Gift of the “Giver's Glow”.

3 The Gift of Connecting with the Neediest.

4 The Gift of Deep Happiness.

5 The Gift of Compassion and Unlimited Love.

6 The Gift of Hope.

Epilogue: Always Coming Home.

Notes.

Acknowledgments.

The Author.

Index.

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Author Information

Stephen G. Post is professor of preventive medicine and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He is a leader in the study of altruism, compassion, and love and president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. Post is the author (with Jill Neimark) of the widely praised Why Good Things Happen to Good People.
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Audio/Video

Reviews

"Post (When Good Things Happen to Good People), president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, pens a hopeful text for hopeless times. His own job loss forced him and his family to relocate in 2008, and he writes poignantly of what he's personally lived through. No stranger to the emotional and spiritual difficulties that accompany any major life change, the author shares intimately how he put into practice the biblical principle of "giving unto others" as he worked through his own grief, sorrow, and loss during the transition that uprooted his family. The lessons Post learned make up this practical resource that urges purposeful giving, even while feeling the stings of disappointment and hardship. Post's work is more than a feel-good read. It's today's handbook for survival." (Publishers Weekly, January 10, 2011

“This inspirational, motivational, and feel good book will leave you bursting with an overflowing bucket list of things you will want to do.”
Read more: http://kennedybookreviews.blogspot.com/2011/04/hidden-gifts-of-helping-how-power-of.html#ixzz1KCDvNGU0
2011 Kennedy Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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Press Release

February 22, 2011
The Hidden Gifts of Helping

The Hidden Gifts of Helping

Want to Live Longer, Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease, and Relieve Stress? Help Others and Reap the Amazing Effects of “the Giver’s Glow" 

Research shows that generous people who frequently give of themselves to others live healthier, happier, longer lives than people who don’t. In his new book, The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times (Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint, March 2011), Stephen G. Post, a leader in the study of altruism, compassion, and unconditional love, shows that helping others is one of the best ways to navigate through life. Most importantly, he shows, it can get us through the inevitable tough times that come everyone’s way—a hopeful message today, when many people are losing their jobs and homes.

The outpouring of help in response to the earthquake in Haiti is one recent example of this phenomenon, but what if we make helping others a way of life? Using insights and research from evolutionary psychology, altruism, and psychiatry, and findings from a national survey conducted by the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, where he serves as president, Dr. Post proves the amazing benefits of helping others. These include:

                                    •greater longevity;

                                    •lower rates of heart disease;

                                    •improved mental and emotional health;

                                    •relief of stress and negative emotions.

This “kindness kickback” occurs partly because focusing on others causes a shift from our preoccupation with ourselves and our problems, a very healthy thing that reduces stress-related wear and tear on body and soul.

Dr. Post recounts how he and his family bounced back when he lost his job of twenty years and the family was forced to leave their beloved home in Cleveland. Beset by new financial anxieties, the loss of community and connectedness, and facing the challenges of starting over in a new place, the Posts found that the key to dealing with this upheaval was something they knew quite well, since Dr. Post has lead the scientific study of it: the healing power of helping others. Intentionally helping others as a daily way of life got them through several rough months. “The experience taught me that bonds of affection, good neighbors, and ultimately, love itself are the most essential things in a happy life,” says Dr. Post.

“‘Do unto others’ is the greatest self-help message ever devised,” Dr. Post says. He calls the side effect of helping others the “giver’s glow” and he has learned to never underestimate its power. “Something about moving beyond self and looking toward others brings happiness. When we stop expecting others to do things for us, and stumble on the happiness of doing things for other people, we can’t help but realize that whatever happens, we can handle it,” he says.

“We eat because it keeps us alive, and we help others because it keeps us human,” says Dr. Post.

This wise and practical little book includes ideas on how each of us can find our own “hidden gifts” to share with others, helping them and reaping important physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits for ourselves.

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