By Robert Wuthnow
Robert Wuthnow unearths that people who are so much all in favour of 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 curious about taking good care of others. Robert Wuthnow unearths that people who find themselves so much excited by acts of compassion aren't any much less individualistic than a person else--and that people who find themselves the main intensely individualistic aren't any much less interested in taking care of others.
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Questions about motives go hand in hand with discussions of charitable behavior. Jack Casey, Marge Detweiler, and Janet Russo all talked extensively about their motives. They did so because they were asked. But this was not the first time they had confronted the question. All three mentioned times when they had asked themselves why they did volunteer work. Questions about motives also came up in their public lives. Individuals wanting to join the rescue squad, Jack pointed out, had to appear before a review board.
All three mentioned times when they had asked themselves why they did volunteer work. Questions about motives also came up in their public lives. Individuals wanting to join the rescue squad, Jack pointed out, had to appear before a review board. And one of the questions the board always asked was why they wanted to sign up. Marge’s story was a well-rehearsed public performance she had given at AA meetings and heard modeled in others’ stories at these meetings. Janet mentioned discussing her cheerleader friend’s motives with her husband and trying to communicate more laudable motives for caring to her children.
Marge’s alcoholism is perhaps also symptomatic of a codependent personality, of someone who always cared too much, and therefore found herself with a self-destructive addiction. It is a positive sign that she has learned through AA how to set limits, how to 41 CHAPTER 2 take better care of herself. Janet Russo has farther to go. She still cuts herself off. She tries to touch others in a caring way. But her insecurity forces her to be too self-sufficient. She needs to learn how to depend more on others, to open up and let them fulfill her needs.