It is Good to be Good
DR. STEPHEN POST
The Spiritist Magazine interviews Dr. Stephen Post regarding his decades of research and analysis of the effects of beneficence and charity onto health and wellbeing.
TSM - As the Director of the Unlimited Love Institute, you have been leading research on the effects of “being good” onto individual and social wellbeing. Please tell us more about how your interest on this field of research had begun.
SP - From childhood, really. Quite spiritual as a child and much engaged with a little Catholic church. I had a mother who used to tell me to go out and help someone in the neighbourhood when I felt a little down. My dad was a real helper and I learned from him. There were some wonderful non-parent mentors along the way.There was no single event, but by age 15 this was what I felt to be the core secret to flourishing.
TSM - The cornerstone of the Spiritist Philosophy is “Without Charity, there is no Salvation”. It basically goes hand-in-hand with the latest advancements of Science in that regard. Do you think there will be a
moment in humankind’s history in which health care professionals will prescribe charitable actions as means
of recovering health?
SP - Yes I do. In fact, they already should be doing this with older adults for sure. The studies on older folks are really clear – they do better when helping others than do when self-absorbed. They have less depression and are generally living a little longer.
TSM - In regard to forgiveness, what has Science discovered that can really impact our individual and collective health? Is there a religious-cultural context that impacts on the exercise of forgiveness?
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