By Robert Wuthnow
Robert Wuthnow reveals that people who are such a lot fascinated by acts of compassion are not any much less individualistic than a person else--and that people who are the main intensely individualistic aren't any much less keen on taking good care of others. Robert Wuthnow unearths that people who find themselves such a lot concerned about acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than an individual else--and that those who find themselves the main intensely individualistic aren't any much less keen on taking good care of others.
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Extra info for Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves
Although Janet is a devoted mother and wife, it is also hard to find evidence in the rest of her life of a deep sense of caring toward anyone outside her immediate family. When asked to think of some special time when she had shown compassion to someone, she recounts a story of a dead man. “It was when I was still working and had no children, probably fifteen years ago. I was working in a nursing home. I had a very kindly old man die, and he was just a wonderful patient. They were going to bury him in potter’s field, which is for paupers; it’s mass graves, unmarked graves.
She still cuts herself off. She tries to touch others in a caring way. But her insecurity forces her to be too self-sufficient. She needs to learn how to depend more on others, to open up and let them fulfill her needs. Both women will be able to care for others more effectively only when they learn how better to care for themselves. Both these interlocutors have important points to make. They have diagnosed important features of our society that must be dealt with in order to understand and advance caring behavior.
These are all gratifications that come from being altruistic, but Jack carefully brackets them from playing too large a role in his account of himself. To focus only on the more selfish or individualistic side of his behavior does a disservice to the extensive caring activity in which he is involved. Consequently, he hastens to point out that some people “start out for the thrill,” but excitement alone is unable to sustain them. ” The gratification alone fails to be enough. “That can’t get you very far, not with all the shit you have to put up with.
Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves by Robert Wuthnow