ALTRUISM: THE POWER OF COMPASSION TO CHANGE YOURSELF AND THE WORLD -- a robust and passionate case for cultivating compassion as the best means for simultaneously benefitting ourselves and our society
Altruism: The Power of Compassion To Change Yourself And The World by Matthieu Ricard (2015, Little, Brown and Company; 717 pages)
This is a book written by a happy man. His name is Mathieu Ricard. He was born in France and he is a Buddhist monk who left a promising career in genetics to study in the Himalayas. He now lives in Nepal and devotes much of his time to 140 humanitarian projects in Tibet, India, and Nepal.
The book is a compelling read for those who are looking for compassion as a way to digest life and the world. In fact, the book’s name is Altruism: The Power of Compassion to Change Yourself and The World.
The book opens with an introduction and then it navigates through five chapters. "What is Altruism?" is the title of the first chapter, in which the author explores the nature of altruism, the concept of empathy, compassion, love, emotions etc. The second chapter focuses on the emergence of altruism in theories of evolution, maternal love, evolution of cultures and more. It also contains one of the most fascinating analyses, for me, of the book, in which the author searches (and finds) altruistic behaviors among animals. The third chapter explains how to cultivate altruism, exploring questions like “Can we Change?” The fourth chapter is dedicated to the Contrary Forces: egocentrism, ego, individualism, narcissism, selfishness. Here the author explores the origins of violence or devaluing the other. He also shares his beliefs about the natural repugnance to kill and analyzes massacres and genocides as dehumanizing the other. This is also a fascinating chapter where the author explains the effects of the meat industry on poverty, environment, and health, and he closes the analysis with some thoughts about institutionalized selfishness. The last chapter is dedicated to building a more altruistic society. Here Matthieu Ricard leaves us with the question of opting for hope. He talks about the virtues of cooperation, an enlightened education, fighting inequality, choosing a caring economy, etc. And he closes with a great conclusion entitled "Daring Altruism."
An absolutely wonderful read, inspiring, riveting and a great tool for those who are looking for guiding principles to lead this world to a better place. Read it!
Find this title in our catalog: Altruism
Recommended by: Maite