The Power of Kindness by Brian Goldman, MD (2018)

E1ED4517-1285-4B10-9D52-2296CC489B06Empathy motivates us to be kind to others. The act of kindness intrinsically makes us happy. But, due to a deficiency in the brain, some people cannot feel empathy. At the same time, others may shut off their empathic feelings. These are the topics of the author’s research. And, after examining his own past behaviour, the author sets out on a candid personal quest to explore his own tendencies to be kind. 

In this book, brain scans and other research modalities, as well as various interviews, are all examined for clues to find out why some people are more prone to kindness than others. The individuals who were interviewed for this book are not religious leaders or other such spiritual advisors. They are every day people who make empathy and kindness a natural part of their everyday lives.

Although this book is somewhat inspiring, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. At times, I found it a little too wordy and a bit depressing. By the half-way point, I found it a struggle to finish the book. The writing style is easy to understand, but not all that engrossing. I would find it difficult to recommend this book to anyone unless they have a keen interest in the subject matter, and enjoy reading about the misfortunes of people and society.

3 comments

  1. That’s too bad – I’d think a book, with this subject matter, would be an engrossing read from cover to cover. Did the book cover at all ‘rich’ people or people who were well off since birth? Any indication if these people had less empathy than normal, hard-working people?

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    1. No, they were just regular hard working people. It was just that the writing style was boring in that the stories of the people interviewed were unnecessarily long in my opinion. Plus the stories seemed to lack the ability to really portray the stories in a powerful way. The things that the people did were inspiring, but much of each chapter seemed to dwell too much on the negative, and I would have liked to have seen more of the positive aspects to the story. Hope that answers your questions.

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