Praise for Why Good Things Happen to Good People
by Stephen Post, Ph.D. and Jill Neimark
"According to Post (bioethics, Sch. of Medicine, Case Western Reserve Univ.; president, Research on Unlimited Love) and journalist and novelist Neimark, people who are generous with their time and talents live longer, healthier, and happier lives. The authors summarize results of scientific studies and identify ten ways of giving that contribute to mental and physical health, including celebration, generativity (i.e., passing knowledge and wisdom on to others, especially future generations), forgiveness, courage, humor, respect, compassion, loyalty, listening, and creativity. Each way of giving has its own chapter illustrated with inspirational real-life stories and containing simple suggestions for self-improvement. A 'Love and Longevity Scale' scores readers on all ten ways of giving. The authors’ advice is sound: begin first with what you do well before branching out to more difficult areas, and focus your giving across four domains—family, friends, community, and humanity. Highly recommended for self-help collections in public libraries. "
"As someone who has long believed that giving of oneself is essential to good health, I was delighted by the theoretical and practical support for my belief found in this book by Stephen Post and Jill Neimark. I would suggest reading this book before ever dismissing the idea that giving is good medicine."
—Dr. Tim Johnson, Medical Editor, ABC News
"Stephen Post and Jill Neimark make the scientific case for generosity eloquently, humanely, and compellingly. This book meets Nietzsche’s criterion for good philosophy: ‘Change Your Life!’"
—Martin E.P. Seligman, Ph.D., Fox Leadership Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania, and author of Learned Optimism and Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
—Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph. D., Professor of Psychology, Claremont Graduate University, and author of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
"In my entire lifetime I have never read a book that presents the benefits of giving for the giver as well as this one does, and using such powerful science in the process."
—Robert H. Schuller, Founder, The Crystal Cathedral
"This book is chock full of good stuff. Read, enjoy and be uplifted!"
—Millard Fuller, Founder & President, The Fuller Center for Housing, & Founder, Habitat for Humanity
"People want to be generous; they just don’t dare risk it. Now they can, knowing that real benefits come to people who live generously. This is truly good news for everybody. Lives will change for the better as a result of this book."
—Rev. Peter J. Gomes, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in The Memorial Church, Harvard University
"Stephen Post and Jill Neimark have brought sophisticated survey research techniques to the task of exploring such supposedly elusive topics as compassion and love. In this book they examine the extraordinary benefits of giving. Their focus is practical, and encourages readers to make giving a driving force in their lives, leading to positive thoughts and actions. Appearing at a time of growing public angst about the state of society and the world, this book offers a timely message of hope and restoration."
—George Gallup, Jr., Founder, The George H Gallup International Institute
"In writing so compellingly about the importance of lifelong giving, Stephen Post and Jill Neimark have actually modeled their own principle by giving all of us a gift. Bringing together a summary of new scientific data on altruism, a compendium of moving stories of human compassion, and a new survey tool to assist in self-examination, this book convincingly demonstrates that "love your neighbor as yourself" can indeed provide a joyful path towards a fulfilled life."
—Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Human Genome Project and author of The Language of God
"Stephen Post has pioneered the science of unconditional love. Now, with the help of Jill Neimark, he has made this knowledge accessible to all of us in the wonderful book. I urge you to read it, heed it, and put its message to work in every aspect of your life."
—Michael Edwards, Director, Governance and Civil Society, The Ford Foundation
"Why Good Things Happen to Good People wraps a trio of virtues into one beautifully-written package: it is a source of genuine inspiration; a groundbreaking distillation of scientific research; and an immensely practical guidebook for how we can all live lives that not only are more meaningful but that mean something beyond ourselves. It arrives just in time for all of us looking to find a greater sense of purpose, and for a nation in need of a new army of caring citizens dedicated to the greater good."
—Marc Freedman, Founder and CEO, Civic Ventures
"This work converts the currency of today's sciences into a capital account that can be invested in a universe of Love."
—Joan Konner, Professor and Dean Emerita, Columbia University, The Journalism School
"This unique book should be exceptionally well received for bringing new science to what we physicians know from clinical practice - positive emotions are good for your health. The discussion of courage in relation to doing good in the world is beautifully developed with the well-coined expression "carefrontation." Learn about ten different ways of giving unselfishly to others...and the good news is that in the process, we give to ourselves too!"
—Dr. Eric J. Topol, M.D., Chief Academic Officer of Scripps Health and Chief of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and Genomic Medicine Program
"Prepare to be uplifted and transformed by Stephen Post and Jill Neimark’s remarkable book. The authors bring courage and joy to their readers in their inspiring description of the human capacity for love."
—Susannah Heschel, Eli Black Professor of Jewish Studies, Dartmouth College, editor of Moral Grandeur and Spiritual Audacity: Essays by Abraham Joshua Heschel
"Stephen Post and Jill Neimark’s important book has arrived just in the nick of time. Just when it seemed that those touting the marketplace and selfishness as the only guides required for a good life and a flourishing society would seem to have won the field, Post and Neimark say it ain't so. They send a resounding message that shows not only the power of giving, altruism, selflessness and forgiveness, but also the practical impact of altruistic virtue on a person's health and well-being.You cannot read this book without coming away knowing that there is more to life than that dreamt of in most economic philosophy."
—Arthur Caplan, Emanuel & Robert Hart Professor of Bioethics and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics at the University of Pennsylvania
"In a world weary with war and violence, Stephen Post and Jill Neimark sound the clarion call of hope. Goodness rewards both the giver and the world.This is very good news."
—Joan Brown Campbell, Director of the Department of Religion at the
"Many books talk about happiness, living better and reaching goals. Stephen Post and Jill Neimark tell us about accessing the deepest emotions of joy, gratitude, humility and awe. The title will pique your curiosity. The information will open your mind. But the message will open your heart."
—Dan Gottlieb, author of Letters to Sam: A Grandfather's Lessons on Love, Loss, and the Gifts of Life, and host of "Voices in the Family," Philadelphia’s NPR affiliate
"If the good die young, and the evil flourish, it is also true that the radiance of a life well-lived day by day may be had by attending and responding to one another in a world with nothing to hold onto and everything to share. Find out how and why in these pages."
—Steven M. Tipton, co-author, Habits of the Heart
"This wonderful book is filled with ways we can discover paths to richer, more fulfilling lives, based on solid scientific research. It’s not just a good book, not merely a helpful book. It’s a transformative book. This "self-help" book helps us to find our true selves."
—Thomas F. Beech, President, Fetzer Institute
Praise for Stephen Post, Ph. D.
"I am a great admirer of Stephen Post's work on the science of love, altruism,
health, and longevity. This connection can touch us all. This work is pioneering, inspiring and could change people's lives."
—George E. Vaillant, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
"The famous psychiatrist Karl Menninger once observed that love heals, both those who give it and those who receive it. Yet until very recently the linkages between altruism (and its cousins, like generativity) and health and well-being have generated remarkably little scientific attention. In an age of terrorism and alienation, this sort of research is vitally important,as its findings may change lives. But to be successful this new enterprise needs a scholar/entrepreneur to conceptualize the field, bring creative minds together, and set the agenda. Stephen Post is that person. Lots of scientists and intellectuals think big thoughts and talk a good game. Post does that, too, but he also makes things happen. If novel and important social ideas and research were funded like new businesses, the venture capitalists would be flocking to Post's startup."
—Jay Azarow, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, Stanford University
"The scientific data on altruism and health are so provocative, and have been so thoroughly neglected by the mainstream, that I think this book could be the start of something big."
—Michael E. McCullough, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Psychology and Department of Religious Studies, University of Miami
"Stephen Post has contributed more than anyone else to the dialogue concerning the scientific and health implications of altruistic and generous behavior. His leadership has spearheaded an exciting new area of research. The field has the strong potential to change people's lives in a healthy way."
—Gregory L. Fricchione, M.D., Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, & Associate Chief of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital
"Through the remarkable efforts of Dr. Stephen Post both scientists and nonscientists are gaining a new perspective on the health benefits of love and altruism. Dr. Post will play a critical role in allowing us to understand the causes and consequences of love from the
perspective of serious science."
—Sue Carter, Ph.D., Co-director of the Brain Body Center, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago
"Stephen G. Post's work on unlimited love is truly inspiring. I have never encountered someone with such a great and optimistic passion to make our lives better through our relationships with others. The goal of improving our spiritual, emotional, and physical lives through a scientific understanding of love is admirable. It gives me hope for the future of mankind."
—Stephanie Preston, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience, University of Iowa
"It has been a privilege to work with Stephen to bridge the difficult divide between the biological, psychosocial, theological and philosophical approaches to the analysis of love. Only a scholar of Stephen's background and credentials could have accomplished this important task in the fair and balanced manner that he has."
—Esther M. Sternberg, M.D., Director, Integrative Neural Immune Program, Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health
"I am a great admirer of Stephen Post's work. This is an important and timely area of scientific research, and his book will be a careful and compelling presentation of the facts."
—Harold G. Koenig, M.D., Professor of Geriatrics, Director, Center on Spirituality and Health, Duke University
"The science of love and altruism is making great strides these days, in no small part thanks to Stephen Post's projects. Much selfish rationality folk wisdom in our culture is flatly contradicted by the evidence. This is important news!"
—Peter Richerson, Professor, Department of Environmental Studies and Policy, University of California, Davis
"For so long, medicine has focused on eradication of pathology rather than studying health-promoting factors and lifestyles. Stephen Post’s current book proposal will be an
important contribution to this endeavor which has important implications for each of us individually, for our communities, and for the whole world. There is no one better able than Stephen Post to pull such a work together."
—Robert Hierholzer, M.D., Associate Chief of Staff for Research and Education
VA-Central California, Fresno, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry
University of California, San Francisco
"I would like to wholeheartedly endorse this new book by Stephen Post, for it is certain to break important ground in two ways. First, it will unify a great deal of important thinking about mind, body, and the effects of love and altruism not only on the spirit but on the very work of health practitioners. And second, people's lives will be changed---for the better."—Christopher Boehm, Ph.D., Director, the Jane Goodall Research Center, Departments of Anthropology and Biological Sciences, University of Southern California