This is a watershed work of ethical import for all those involved in the helping professions. Ram Dass and Paul Gorman have written a cogent work on caring that tells the stories of those who have served others and found their own lives enriched: a doctor, a minister, a drug counselor, a literacy tutor, a nun, and many others.
"Shall I become involved or not, and if so, how deeply? How much human pain to let in, and whose?" these are questoins faced by all those who care. The authors describe the mental roadblocks (pity, abstraction, professional warmth) which stifle the "inherent generosity of the heart." They describe the different motivations for serving others and the necessary lineaments of "the listening mind."
One hazard of the helping profession is "know how" or specialization. Another is burnout. Dass and Gorman offer avenues of renewal which make sense. They note: "Service is an endless series of questions, puzzling and insistent. It not only raises questions, it helps to answer them. Service is a curriculum."