Naked Spirituality - a rediscovery?
My book Naked Spirituality (NS) did quite well in the UK, and just OK here in the US. But I've had lots of people writing me lately and telling me they've just discovered it and are finding it extremely helpful in small groups, classes, etc. That's great to hear.
I came across this quote in a recent article about happiness:
There’s a personal cost to callousness.
After people were instructed to restrain feelings of compassion in the face of heart-wrenching images, those people later reported feeling less committed to moral principles.
In March, researchers at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, published a study in Psychological Science that should make anyone think twice before ignoring a homeless person or declining an appeal from a charity.
Daryl Cameron and Keith Payne found that after people were instructed to restrain feelings of compassion in the face of heart-wrenching images, those people later reported feeling less committed to moral principles. It was as if, by regulating compassion, the study participants sensed an inner conflict between valuing morality and living by their moral rules; to resolve that conflict, they seemed to tell themselves that those moral principles must not have been so important. Making that choice, argue Cameron and Payne, may encourage immoral behavior and even undermine our moral identity, inducing personal distress.
“Regulating compassion is often seen as motivated by self-interest, as when people keep money for themselves rather than donate it,” write the researchers. “Yet our research suggests that regulating compassion might actually work against self-interest by forcing trade-offs within the individual’s moral self-concept.”
The quote made me thing of one of the 12 simple words in NS - "Please," which I relate to the practice of compassion. It's encouraging to see some scientific research backing up the claim I made in the book - that to withhold compassion stunts well-being for everyone. The whole article is worth checking out ... as is NS.