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The Compassionate Life by Marc Ian Barasch

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EPILOGUE

Enough words have been exchanged;Now at last let me see some deeds!...Something useful should transpire...So get on with it!

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

IN THE YEARS SINCE I WROTE THIS BOOK, MY LIFE HAS changed more radically than I could have imagined. The words I set on the page eventually got under my skin. Hanging out with the folks who do the heart’s heavy lifting confirmed a hypothesis: Do-gooding is contagious. Suddenly, being a writer, the literary equivalent of a UN observer, was no longer enough. I wanted to go out into the world and get my arms around it.

My mother died as I was finishing the book tour. She was the secret solar center of my life, a maternal personality so giving that, in truth, I’d sometimes wished she’d dim ...

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