The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times

Overview

Praise for The Hidden Gifts of Helping

"Stephen Post has written a deeply moving and comforting book about the pain and the healing of being uprooted. In the face of the deeply troubling post-2008 world, Post has written a courageous and honest book about his own experience of being a 'castaway' and reaching shore safely by trying to rescue others, not himself.  It is wise and profoundly healing."
George E. Vaillant, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; ...

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Overview

Praise for The Hidden Gifts of Helping

"Stephen Post has written a deeply moving and comforting book about the pain and the healing of being uprooted. In the face of the deeply troubling post-2008 world, Post has written a courageous and honest book about his own experience of being a 'castaway' and reaching shore safely by trying to rescue others, not himself.  It is wise and profoundly healing."
George E. Vaillant, M.D., professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; senior fellow, Center for Positive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania; and author, Aging Well

"I hereby add my voice to the much deserved praise of Stephen G. Post's book on the healing power of love. It is a lasting contribution to the humanities in medicine."
Richard Selzer, M.D., Yale University School of Medicine

"In this inspiring book, Stephen Post convincingly shows how helping others leads to win-win situations: not only does benevolence enhance others' well-being but, as a bonus, it also contributes significantly to our own physical and mental well-being."
Matthieu Ricard, Buddhist monk, humanitarian, scientist, and author, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill

"Stephen Post's new book is an engaging, spiritually wise reflection on the challenge of moving from one place and one job to another. He draws on his expertise in the scientific research on helping, loving, religion, and altruism as he constructs a moving personal narrative with a universal message."
Sydney Callahan, Ph.D., nationally syndicated columnist for Commonweal magazine; licensed psychologist; and author, Created for Joy: A Christian View of Suffering

"America needs this timely, persuasive, and morally refreshing call to help our neighbors. Once again, Stephen Post offers us the gift of good news that volunteerism, altruism, and philanthropy are forms of therapy for our own souls."
Rev. Dr. Robert M. Franklin, president, Morehouse College

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  • Stephen G. Post
    Stephen G. Post  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Post (preventive medicine; director, Ctr. for Medical Humanities, Stony Brook Univ.), president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love, recommends, in his latest book, selflessness for selfish reasons—that is, he extols the health benefits of altruism not just for the receiver, but for the giver as well. Giving, claims Post, extends life span, relieves stress, improves mental health, and helps the heart. VERDICT Post's work is a welcome antidote to the contracted thinking of a recession and should be welcomed by church groups and charitable organizations as well as Christian readers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470887813
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/22/2011
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 939,798
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 7.05 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen G. Post is professor of preventive medicine and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He is a leader in the study of altruism, compassion, and love and president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. Post is the author (with Jill Neimark) of the widely praised Why Good Things Happen to Good People.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: On the Move.

1 Learning to Travel on Life's Mysterious Journey.

2 The Gift of the “Giver's Glow”.

3 The Gift of Connecting with the Neediest.

4 The Gift of Deep Happiness.

5 The Gift of Compassion and Unlimited Love.

6 The Gift of Hope.

Epilogue: Always Coming Home.

Notes.

Acknowledgments.

The Author.

Index.

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 18, 2011

    Encourages rethinking one thoughts of the world

    "The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times " was a surprising read and a great reminder how easy it is to lose our focuses sometimes in a critical world.

    It seems easy to look for the negative, to be critical and just focus on the worse of things, but with, "The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times", Stephen G. Post, reminds us that things can only be as bad as we choose to look at it and not really a "kitschy everything is so good" book, as much as a reminder how our attitude can make or break our view on the bigger picture of the world and the people around us.

    Not so much as a prosperity, if you do this, you'll get that, but a genuine, by changing the way we look at our life, our surroundings, the people we interact, how we just take the time, through giving, compassion and hope...just the simple act of having genuine, not about us or anyone, but just hope for everything, can make a difference in our lives and the lives of the people we touch and encounter.

    The book brings up a character that we know all about, Ebenezer Scrooge, and his "Bah Humbag" attitude at the world, at everyone and his persistence look for "everything that he saw was wrong" with the world" and the eventually change by the end of the book, as he realized the power of hope, compassion and giving to others.

    There is a quote that stood out in the book,
    <i>"Hatred, hostility, and revenge are strong emotions that can engulf our deeper sense of Unlimited Love like a tidal wave. Our experiences of God's love can be distorted by the human filters of groupishness and exclusion, and translate into a willing to condemn those who happen to see the world differently than we do. We must be on guard to prevent the love of power from overwhelming the power of love".</i>

    In the bible, it says to love our enemies and to forgive our enemies and although, "The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times", may not appear to be a Christian non-fiction, but that's missing the bigger point...it addresses the very points that makes being human, its best....its brightness and at the time of this review, with it being the holiday season, and for Christians, a reminder of the reason for the season, and as fellow human beings, a reminder of being the best that we can be, not the worse and not focusing on the worse either, which sadly we are all guilty of slipping into, at some point and time.

    I love what the author describes as "God-Winks" and "Grace Notes" and I think we have all experienced those moments at some point of our lives and always expectantly.

    Not just for the holiday season, but a fantastic reminder for living EVERYDAY of our lives, "The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times" is a must read to remind all of us, no matter what, what makes us great as people.

    "The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times" was written by Stephen Post in response to a trying time in his life and of his own experience as a "castaway", trying to reach the shores of safety, and what he discover, by rescuing not himself but others and i

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  • Posted May 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Finding New Vistas of Happiness, Health, and Healing through Helping

    A job loss forced Stephen G. Post, author of "The Hidden Gifts of Helping" and his family to relocate. He describes the personal trauma he and his family experienced through their process of leaving familiar routines and long time friends behind to begin a new life in a new community. Post relates how he put into practice a "giving unto others" regimen or philosophy as he worked through his experience of loss during this transition. The lessons Post learned thought his personal journey are detailed in his book. Post explains the importance of a deep spirituality, a strong quiet center, creating a kind of contagion that allows other people to live better. He proposes a philosophy of "Helper Therapy" which can get us through the hard times by reaching out to others. The prerequisites and benefits of reaching out to others or lending a helping hand include: Prerequisites: . Intentionality and focus. . A core practice of forgiveness. . A refocus on the hidden gifts of helping. Benefits: . Lowers stress levels and prevents depression. . Produces hope wrapped up in faith. . Creates new life - a reinventing of ourselves. Each chapter includes a highlighted "Finding Your Own Hidden Gifts" feature, containing a challenge with step by step suggestions for implementing practical actions which will produce a life which reaps the benefits and rewards of implementing "The Hidden Gifts of Helping." I was challenged to finding sacred places everywhere, a quiet place of prayer, or a place to pause and reflect. I was encouraged to actively pursue the disciplines recommended by Post. I thoroughly enjoyed the inspirational anecdotes, stories that further illustrated the personal benefits that accompany reaching out to help meet the needs of others. I can only wish I had read Post's book two years ago when we made a major relocation ourselves. Without realizing the significance of how it was helping we intuitively put into practice some of the principles Post has affirmed for us through his proposals. Post's writing conveys insight, compassion, and a practical approach to meeting the challenges of transition of any kind. I received a complimentary copy of this book from a representative of the author or the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's guidelines. As reviewed for Midwest Book Review.

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  • Posted May 21, 2011

    The Hidden Gifts of Helping

    Everyone stumbles on hard times. After all, no one gets out of life alive. Today, even those who had considered themselves protected from hardship are being touched and their lives changed by volatile economic markets, job uncertainty, and the increasing isolation and loneliness of modern life. ~ Stephen G. Post

    There are spiritual, emotional, and physical gifts and blessings from helping others. The author clearly presents these blessings and how we can make this a lifetime activity. He includes personal stories principles of charity found in other religions, but Stephen G. Post approaches this subject from a Christian point of view.

    He shares that God has an unseen hand moving behind the scenes of our lives. There are five gifts described in this book.

    ?The Giver's Glow - Prayer centered on others instead of ourselves lowers stress levels and activates a part of the brain associated with joy and inner calm. Helping others makes us human and open towards others and improves mental and emotional health and may even help us live longer. In this he also cautions the reader to take care of yourself as you are helping the world.
    ?Connecting With The Neediest ~ We are encouraged to reach out beyond our comfort zone and reveals the changes that will happen within us as we help others.
    ?Deep Happiness ~ He shares the three types of happiness and how to enjoy simplicity even in the deepest sorrow.
    ?Compassion and Unlimited Love ~ The true key to happiness centers with one word. Forgiveness. This is a powerful chapter in which he shares the story of Jim LaRue who forgave the man who tortured, raped and murdered his daughter.
    ?Hope ~ Every act of self-giving gives birth to hope. Stephen G. Post encourages us to celebrate what we have, find our vision, and practice what we preach.
    This book will encourage you to broaden your horizons, seek people in your world to bless, and strengthen your relationship with God. The Hidden Gifts of Helping would be an excellent tool for a Bible study group or for your personal use.

    Stephen G. Post is professor of preventive medicine and director of the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics at Stony Brook University. He is a leader in the study of altruism, compassion, and love and president of the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love. Post is the author (with Jill Neimark) of the widely praised Why Good Things Happen to Good People.

    Thank you to Stephen G. Post, Jossey-Bass Publishing, and The B & B Media Group, Inc. for the opportunity to receive this book for free in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    '...with a little help from my friends.'

    Stephen G. Post makes us pause, reexamine our response to our private and our global world, look inside at the seed of joy, and shares by personal experience one of the most simple ways to make a difference: helping which in turn rewards not only those whom we help but also results in finding deep happiness. This little book is not meant to be a profound philosophical dissertation or a self help manual. Instead Post suggests that the changes in the world we all long for and often find evasive can be at least be partially ameliorated by a fundamentally easy act - that of helping other people.

    Post's formula for Deep Happiness is '1. Foremost, love others!; 2. Cultivate moral integrity; 3. Enjoy thankful simplicity; 4. Stay true to your higher purposes.' The manner in which the author leads the reader to breathe in his quiet doctrines is his sharing of his family's change - moving from a place of belonging (Cleveland) to a place of strangeness but a place that offered the author an opportunity to elevate his gifts of teaching humanitarianism in Long Island (he is currently a professor of preventive medicine and director if the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook University). Post transfers his personal responses to change to nearly everyone today who because of the recession or aging or lack of funds or illness - suggesting ways of coping by overcoming stress and trauma by performing little acts of kindness to those less fortunate than us. He also deals with the topic of those most in need and spends a chapter discussing Alzheimer's Disease and how we can reach out and help those with advanced aging and at the same time how we can care for ourselves so as not to become a 'wounded healer'. Drug and alcohol dependency issues fall into his realm of helping those afflicted. The extensions of his help and compassion find outlets in every form of life problems which tend to paralyze those who want to be of help but instead protect ourselves by avoiding.

    But where Stephen G. Post hits his mark is the gently insidious manner in which he introduces how we can repair a broken world. ' Being concerned with the welfare of others simply has every kind of evolutionary advantage. Children do not thrive unless they feel cared for and experience empathy and loyalty. People in a particular group will prosper to the extent that altruistic emotions and behaviors like compassion and cooperation operate effectively.' And where he takes this discussion is to a circle where world peace is more than a dream but a possibility. Simple ideas, but concepts that make a tremendous impact on the reader and hopefully on everyone with whom the reader relates and helps!

    Grady Harp

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  • Posted April 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great help book

    I love to help others and can do that better than except help myself. It make me feel so good to do something for someone. This book is just about that, giving of ourselves to help others. It shows that by doing so we are doing what Jesus commented us to do as the Bible verse says "All this you do for others you do until me" now this may not be exactly what it says but I know I have read this in the Bible. Jesus commands we Christians to help others and to feed the hungry and to help clothe the naked. I don't believe in just handing out anything just because they are too lazy to work and get it for themselves as we see so many in America doing. But if they really have a need, not something they want but need then we should help them.
    Stephen's book talks about moving from one place and one job to another, he writes that this is a Spiritual understanding as we look inside ourselves and gain more strength of our faith. This book can be picked up anytime that we need help ourselves and read a little of it to help make us understand more of what life is all about.

    This book was sent to me by The B and B Media Group for my review.

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