Following the historic visit of the Dalai Lama to Western Connecticut State University in 2012, Dr. Christopher Kukk, a professor of Political Science, was asked to work with students to create a lasting tribute to the event.
The result was the WCSU Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, which Kukk directs. As he dove into the project, Kukk found himself becoming fascinated with the theory of compassion and its positive effects.
After five years of research, Kukk has written a book, "The Compassionate Achiever: How Helping Others Fuels Success,"," which was published this week.
"For decades, we've been told the key to prosperity is to look out for number one. But recent science shows that to achieve durable success, we need to be more than just achievers; we need to be compassionate achievers."
Kukk showed that new research in biology, neuroscience and economics has found that compassion - recognizing a problem or caring about another's pain and making a commitment to help - not only improves others' lives, it can transform our own. "The Compassionate Achiever" reveals the profound benefits of practicing compassion, including more constructive relationships, improved intelligence and increased resiliency.
In the book, Kukk makes clear that practicing compassion isn't about being a martyr or a paragon of virtue; it's about rejecting rage and indifference and choosing instead to be a thoughtful, caring problem-solver. He identifies the skills every compassionate achiever should master - listening, understanding, connecting and acting - and outlines how to develop each, with clear explanations, easy-to-implement strategies, actionable exercises and real-world examples.
By practicing compassion, Kukk said, everyone wins and can achieve success in our own lives and create more productive workplaces, and healthier, less violent communities.
For more information, contact the office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486.