The art of helping others being around, being there, being wise (2008, Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Review :

This book is an inspiring and useful guide for strengthening friendships, widening acquaintances and helping others. It speaks to our inner-most selves to remind us or ask us about what kind of person we want to be. It describes the value of a willingness to listen attentively to others and to respond in a caring and respectful way. These are lessons for all of us.

Although the book is intended primarily as a guide to counselors, teachers, and advisors, it can benefit anyone who wants more deeply human and personal contact with others. Early chapters give advice for "living life well" and "knowing and being ourselves" and encourage us to cultivate the traits of character we hope to possess, especially integrity and authenticity.

As the title of the book suggests there is an art to making the persons around us feel at ease and be open to sharing ideas, beliefs and feelings. It takes creative effort and an ability to feel excitement about life, and it helps to be concerned about the flourishing of humanity as a whole.

We need to feel ourselves to be part of a community, which means that we need to participate in building and sustaining a community around us, in particular a "community of practice" among the people who do the work we do or strive for what we strive for.

The book provides an abundance of references to back up its claims and has further detailed bibliographic notes on a website.

"The Art of Helping Others" is a guide for drawing people together and helping us to be our better selves.


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