9781573221085 / 1573221082

Ordinary Grace: An Examination of the Roots of Compassion, Altruism, and Empathy, and the Ordinary Individuals Who Help Others in Extraordinary Ways


Publisher:Riverhead Hardcover



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About the book:

Kathleen Brehony, a Jungian clinical psychiatrist, refuses to believe that acts of kindness are exceptional or even random. Instead, she offers testimony to the instinctual human desire to be compassionate, forgiving, merciful, and tolerant. Brehony offers real-life stories to demonstrate the tenacity and pervasiveness of ordinary grace and altruism. She takes us into the homes of everyday heroes, such as a New Jersey couple who adopted four HIV-infected children from a Romanian orphanage. We enter inner-city neighborhoods and small-town high schools and find out that the plight of today's youth is not all doom and gloom, as the media would suggest. In fact, many teens are spiritually thriving as a result of their own acts of kindness--the tutoring they offer younger children or the food they deliver to their elders.

If you're looking for an antedote to the daily barrage of cynical and pessimistic claims about human nature, this will do the trick. There's even a chapter devoted to showing readers how to create more grace in everyday life. Through strong storytelling supported by extensive research, Brehony makes a convincing case for the inborn and sacred goodness of humanity. --Gail Hudson

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