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Doing the Right Thing: Cultivating Your Moral Intelligence

Dr. Aaron Hass

12 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0743465156 / ISBN 13: 9780743465151
Published by Pocket, 1998
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books (Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Doing the Right Thing: Cultivating Your ...

Publisher: Pocket

Publication Date: 1998

Book Condition:Good

Edition: 1 Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

Life is filled with moral dilemmas. And in this ever changing world, doing the right thing can be an increasingly complex endeavor. Now psychologist Aaron Hass leads you on a voyage of discovery that enables you to better deal with the dilemmas of everyday life.At one time or another we have all thought, I know what I should do, but I can't do it. By strengthening your moral self, you can. Dr. Hass' simple yet profound message is that inside, you know what's right. Freeing yourself from the fears, insecurities, and excuses that lie at the heart of your indiscretions will start you on your path to inner peace, dignity, and a renewed excitement for living. You will discover new ways of looking at: Guilt -- when it can be goodEmotions -- how they can get in the way of doing what's rightFairness -- life may not be fair, but you can beGiving -- why keeping a scorecard makes you a moral loser Dr. Hass brings these concepts and others into focus -- and ties them together with compassion and love. Warmly human, full of wisdom and depth of spirit, this is a book about approaching your relationships with greater empathy and kindness, and teaching your children to do likewise. With Doing The Right Thing, you will release your inherent goodness and heroic potential -- in times of crisis as well as in the smaller moments that make up the moral sum of your days.

Review:

Aaron Hass is a professor of psychology, but it's his experience as a clinical psychologist--heading off suicide and gluing marriages back together--that informs Doing the Right Thing. Resolutely unconcerned with abstract questions, and deliberately setting aside such tough moral chestnuts as abortion and capital punishment, he offers instead a straightforward guide to two intermingled issues. First, why it is, despite the attractions of selfishness, that we are generally better off when we do what we believe to be right? And second, how, on the most practical level, can we do ourselves and everyone around us the favor of becoming better people?

This is refreshing stuff, especially from someone in a profession that has done its best to treat notions like self-restraint, self-sacrifice, and moral character as distasteful jokes. For Hass, they are nothing less than keys to a cure. The book's treatment of philosophical issues is light; occasional references to Kant or Aristotle are strictly pro forma and essential subjects such as psychological egoism--the popular view that all human action is "really" self-interested--are dismissed with almost flippant ease. But it's worth reading just for the anecdote about what happened when researchers put seminarians under tight deadlines to finish a sermon on the Good Samaritan--and then ensured that, in order to present their work, they would have to pass by a shabbily dressed man who was coughing and groaning as if in pain. Doing the Right Thing also contains other well handled discussions of such matters as whether God is a necessary foundation for workable value and the way that generosity and courage, just like dishonesty and cruelty, are subject to a powerful snowball effect. --Richard Farr

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