Download Acts of Compassion: Caring for Others and Helping Ourselves by Robert Wuthnow PDF

By Robert Wuthnow

Robert Wuthnow reveals that people who find themselves such a lot taken with acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than somebody else--and that those people who are the main intensely individualistic are not any much less thinking about taking care of others. Robert Wuthnow reveals that those who find themselves so much fascinated by acts of compassion are not any much less individualistic than an individual else--and that people who find themselves the main intensely individualistic are not any much less fascinated with taking care of others.

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But one day, while she was doing some gardening in her backyard, a neighbor came over to talk. ” So Janet decided to attend Women’s Week. “When I walked in I felt very comfortable and everybody welcomed me, and there were sign-up sheets, and my girlfriend next door had said sign everything because it doesn’t bind you, they’ll just 33 CHAPTER 2 call and talk to you about it, and you can pick out what you’re interested in. ” Now that she has become involved with US she regards it as a home away from home, a warm place, a friendly place.

5 Holding the belief that one can do anything if one just tries hard enough did not appear to be inconsistent with caring values either. Among those who held this view, 75 percent said helping others was very important, compared with only 66 percent of those who did not share it. 6 Even when individualism provides an explanation for suffering that blames the victim, it does not seem to dampen the importance people place on caring. —yields the same conclusion. 8 In the American population as a whole, therefore, it appears that individualism does not necessarily contradict holding altruistic values and engaging in a wide variety of caring and community-service activities.

Moreover, is it possible for us to think of ourselves collectively in this way? Are we a compassionate people? Or, perhaps more realistically, does compassion play an important role in our society? And, if so, what is that role? Let me illustrate. Suppose I visit one of my students who is in the hospital. That is an act, a concrete behavior, maybe even a helping behavior (I take him his homework). Suppose he is in some pain and feeling rather depressed. I may leave sharing some of his depression as well, in which case my act has had both a physical and an emotional dimension.

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