Last week’s book recommendation, The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci, was a timely gift of inspiration and hope from Chrysta Torres. Here are some excerpts to inspire you.

We Are All Connected 

“The fabric of our life is made of care, solidarity, mutual service. These qualities are so embedded in our daily events that we may not even notice them.”

“They are all people like us, you know.” There you have a sense of belonging that is refined, and above all free and active in any situation. Some spiritual traditions have recognized the importance of this openness. Christianity, for example, talks about seeing in every individual our brother or sister. Tibetan Buddhism invites us to carry out a curious mental exercise: to look at whomever we meet as someone who, in a previous life, of the infinite series of incarnations through which we have passed, has been our mother.”

Kindness Makes Everything Easier

“It’s all really very simple. You don’t have to choose between being kind to yourself and others. It’s one and the same.”

“It is clear that our very survival, even today, depends upon the acts and kindness of so many people.”

“The heart follows a different kind of math: Acts of kindness and generosity increase our feeling of time affluence.”

“Just as warmth brings to light our personalities and makes us feel special and indispensable, coldness can turn us into nameless shadows.”

Face Problems with Open-Eyed Honesty 

“Some time ago, my son Emilio was going back to school after vacation. He did not like the idea at all and was filled with anxiety. To him, the approach of school days was like a monster that threatened him and wanted to squash him. What is a parent supposed to do? I tried to lift his spirits, to distract him, convince him it was not as bad as it seemed, but in vain. Then I hit upon the idea of offering him something that is almost taboo in our family: French fries at a fast-food place. Usually anything that is prohibited appeals to Emilio, especially junk food. I thought I had the ace up my sleeve. But no. Emilio’s reply ought to be chiseled in stone: “Dad, you don’t solve problems with french fries.”

“Touche. You don’t pretend problems do not exist, and you can’t solve them with ephemeral distractions. You have to face them with open-eyed honesty. Offering French fries to my son in order to console and distract him from his anxiety was by no means a kind act. I was simply choosing the easier option–far too easy. I had found a comfortable way out.”

“To be in the present with someone else is a gift. The gift of attention is perhaps the most precious and envied of all, even though we do not always realize it.”

Give yourself the gift of hope with The Power of Kindness: The Unexpected Benefits of Leading a Compassionate Life by Piero Ferrucci

Additional reading recommendations:

Timeless Advice from American Visionaries