Acts of Compassion by Robert Wuthnow

By Robert Wuthnow

Robert Wuthnow unearths that those who find themselves such a lot fascinated about acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than somebody else--and that those who find themselves the main intensely individualistic are not any much less inquisitive about taking care of others. Robert Wuthnow reveals that those people who are so much fascinated about acts of compassion are not any much less individualistic than a person else--and that those people who are the main intensely individualistic aren't any much less excited by taking care of others.

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Marge Detweiler is nothing at all like Jack Casey. At age fortyeight she is old enough to be his mother. She has four children of her own, all of whom are grown and away from home. She lives in a different part of the country thousands of miles away. Having gotten a divorce several years ago, she now runs a small printing business to earn a living. About the only thing she and Jack Casey have in common is that they both do volunteer work. But Marge Detweiler’s volunteer work is of a very different kind.

She has spent a great deal of time and expended a lot of energy finding out who she is, stripping away the masks, discovering what she wants in life. ” . 6 . Marge Detweiler is nothing at all like Jack Casey. But because she too tries to combine caring and individualism, she struggles with finding the proper combination. One of the hardest struggles she has is deciding how much to follow her own dictates, being true only to herself, and how much to depend on other people. As the remark she made about happiness indicates, she has decided that happiness must come from within; she cannot expect other people to make her happy.

Her closest friends are part of the AA community. One of the women she sponsored became her business partner. Another is now Marge’s sponsor. Marge recognizes not only that the program is what keeps her alive, but also that it animates her entire life. 29 CHAPTER 2 At the meetings she attends twice weekly, she sees herself in other people. In the newcomers she sees what life would be like if she started drinking again. She also shares their joys. “I see those same people’s victories, as they ease up, and it gets better, and their life gets simpler, and they find that they can handle being a human being without having to run away from it.

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