“Kindness,” writes Piero Ferrucci, “is the universal remedy – first, for the individual, for we can be well only if we are able to care for ourselves, to love ourselves. And then for all of us, because if we have better relationships, we feel and do better.”
I found this lovely little book on the shelf in my mom’s home office this past fall and have been dipping in and out of it at bedtime over the past couple of months.
It’s a quick read, but it’s so thoughtful that I preferred to take it in little pieces than devour it in one sitting. It’s written by an Italian transpersonal psychologist (I know, what?) and explores all the little facets that make up kindness. His argument is compelling – by behaving more kindly towards ourselves and others, we will be better equipped to thrive and to help others do the same.
Ferrucci breaks down the various components of kindness by chapter – Honesty, Warmth, Forgiveness, Contact, Sense of Belonging, Trust, Mindfulness, Empathy, Humility, Patience, Generosity, Respect, Flexibility, Memory, Loyalty, Gratitude, Service and Joy. It’s so simple, but at the start of a new year when many people’s thoughts turn to self-improvement, it’s also very important to focus on what it is that makes us better, warmer, brighter, smarter and more empathetic.
Maybe it’s because I’m going to be a teacher, or maybe it’s because I recently went through a period of major transition, but something about this little book really resonated with me. It felt like a cup of tea or a bowl of homemade soup. If everyone took the time to read it – and took it to heart – the world would probably be a much happier, friendlier, safer place.