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Summer Book Review: The Power of Kindness

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Finding the Kindness in the World

Dr. Brian Goldman, a former ER doctor and host of CBC Radio’s White Coat Black Art, finds himself at the end of his career as a healthcare practitioner, wondering if his empathy for others and motivation to care for them, which initially launched his career in the medical field, may have dissipated throughout his fast-paced, demanding tenure. In an attempt to measure his own empathy, and identify the driving force behind others’ empathy, he sets out on a world-wide journey, visiting people widely known for their kindness, and respected researchers in the field.

Through-out the two year journey, Goldman meets an array of individuals who display an outstanding amount of kindness, often in unsuspecting places, and learns a great deal about himself.

The tone of the narrative is positive, with an uplifting message. We are often bombarded with negative news stories in every headline. Goldman however, takes the time to share the stories of altruistic individuals, highlighting the abundance of kindness in the world. Importantly, emphasizing that many of these individuals who display great kindness have faced struggles of their own. Yet, these struggles have not hardened or isolated them. Indeed, it is those experiences which have likely fostered their empathy, leading them to act so kindly.

Kindness and Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Kindness and alcohol addiction recovery are closely intertwined. Most importantly, kindness for yourself. A crucial aspect of recovery during alcohol rehab is being able to forgive yourself. Being kind to yourself, accepting that your alcohol addiction is not a result of mistakes you have made, but a disease, is an important step in allowing yourself to heal. Further, kindness towards others who have hindered your recovery from alcohol addiction will allow you to move past your addiction and begin to rebuild your life.

The Power of Kindness offers a new perspective. Although alcohol addiction is often viewed as only destroying lives, perhaps it’s possible that the struggles these individuals experience will actually lead to the development of a kinder and more empathetic person following alcohol addiction treatment. The story of Goldman’s journey, meeting those people who have faced struggles and have come out as a kinder person, is an inspiring read for those in alcohol rehab.

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