on kindness, the psychoanalysis…

October 7, 2011

A book review of On Kindness by Phillips and Taylor- the psychoanalysis of kindness:

The punch line of the book is that we are, each of us, battling back against our innate kindness, with which we are fairly bursting, at every turn. Why? Because “real kindness is an exchange with essentially unpredictable consequences. It is a risk precisely because it mingles our needs and desires with the needs and desires of others, in a way that so-called self-interest never can. . . . By involving us with strangers . . . as well as with intimates, it is potentially far more promiscuous than sexuality.” By walling ourselves off from our inner kindness, we end up skulking around, hoarding scraps from the lost magical kindness of childhood, terrified that our hatred is stronger than our love.

So willing to take the Freudian leap my friends…to recognize the humanity of our hate and then discover that our love is indeed stronger.

No wonder we are a little bit scared, we are holding change.

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7 Responses to “on kindness, the psychoanalysis…”

  1. Donna Says:

    This is awesome! Thank you Patience. Kindness does feel risky but the fun of it in the moment and how it lingers around afterward gets under your skin. If only I could remember that in my skulking moments… That must be why I like getting your blog posts.

  2. Mani Canaday Says:

    This is truly brilliant.

  3. Sarah Hitch Says:

    Thank you Patience. As someone who has needed a wee bit of kindness lately. I am very interested and wonder why it is easier to give a stranger kindness when there may be people within your friends and family that could possibly use an “Encouraging word!”. I have resolved that when I talk to anyone from now on I’m going to let them know that they are important and cared about.

  4. Brenda Says:

    Oh Patience…I love this excerpt! It is so accurate and makes what we’re doing so much more intense! 🙂


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