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Stephen G. Post; The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times (book cover)


“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 MD, 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, MD, 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, and 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

“For over two decades, Stephen Post has produced the most impressive body of work cogently arguing for love’s central role at the interface of science, medicine and spirituality. Most often his books and papers present strong objective arguments, as befits a respected academic, that loving others makes perfect biological, medical, psychological and social sense. Here in this wonderful new book, he makes the argument ‘by acquaintance.’ An unsettling separation from a place of attachment and solace becomes an occasion of grace in that he and his family are called to find newly invigorated attachments. They do so with the help of inspiring recollections and encounters with heroes present and past who themselves have found the healing grace of loving others. Dr Post has given us a heartfelt gift—a modern adventure story steeped in the old wisdom of what it takes to lead a good and healthy life.”

—Gregory L. Fricchione, MD, professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

“In reflecting on his life’s challenges and transitions, Stephen Post weds solid science with practical wisdom, and conveys the resulting truths with inspiring life stories. With graceful prose he points to way to human flourishing—through self-giving love.”

—David G. Myers, professor of psychology education, Hope College and author, A Friendly Letter to Skeptics and Atheists: Musings on Why God is Good and Faith isn’t Evil

“Stephen Post has long championed the simple but sublime truth that by helping others we help ourselves. He has documented this cardinal principle of positive psychology in a long series of authoritative volumes and research projects, including a major project on happiness that he helped lead over the past five years at Emory. In this engaging new volume, Post combines touching (auto)biography, philosophical reflection, and scientific findings into a compelling narrative on how and why love of God, neighbor, and self converge. This is a book to be read in an evening and savored for a lifetime.”

—John Witte, director and distinguished professor, Center for Law and Religion, Emory University

“In an elegant and thoughtful reflection on his family’s move from their settled life in Ohio to their new home in New York, Stephen Post uncovers ‘hidden gifts’ among life-changing challenges. As one of America’s most knowledgeable philosophers and scholars of the interrelated roles of altruism, love and compassion in spiritual and physical wellness, Dr. Post brings years of scientific inquiry into critical dialogue with his own family crisis of transition, change and adaptation. The result is an educational and inspirational chronicle that grounds the foundational belief that helping others does heal and transform human life. The Hidden Gifts of Helping offers renewed meaning to the biblical maxim that ‘A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.’ (Proverbs 11:25)”

—The Rev. Dr. Walter J. Smith, S.J., Ph.D., president and CEO, HealthCare Chaplaincy