November 24, 2020
How You Can Help the Institute
Our journey together in these unprecedented times continues as we near the end of another calendar year. Along with our wishes that you remain safe and well, I take this opportunity to share uplifting points of impact and success that the Institute for Research on Unlimited Love achieved in 2020.
First, a brief background:
The Institute was founded 20 years ago by a team of 12 carefully selected researchers and six board members. This group sought to create the modern research movement on kindness, compassion, spirituality, love and well-being.
Those young researchers first came together from across the United States in the fall of 2000 at Glidden House in Cleveland's University Circle. I was a professor at Case Western School of Medicine at the time. We all went on to become leaders in this field. For example:
- Dr. Gregory Fricchione became Director of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind-Body Medicine at Harvard Medical School/Mass General, and the go-to national expert on the healing power of compassionate care;
- Matthew T. Lee, who joined us in 2003, switched from criminology to the social science of kindness and altruism, and eventually became the first person ever to move from the University of Akron to Harvard, where he is now serving as Director of Empirical Research of the Human Flourishing Program and Lecturer in the Department of Sociology. His course is a favorite. Matt is currently serving as lead editor for an important new book on the interdisciplinary measurement of well-being for Oxford University Press, while also teaching undergraduates;
- Philosopher Thomas J. Oord went on to write the #1 Amazon bestseller, God Can't, and is leading an international doctoral program in theology and ministry;
- In 2008, I accepted a leadership position at Stony Brook University School of Medicine to direct the Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care & Bioethics. While here I have received the Certificate of Special Recognition from the U.S. Congress for Outstanding Leadership, and shared the Healthcare Chaplaincy National Award for Leadership with Dr. Edmund D. Pellegrino;
- Institute Board Members Richard and Judy Watson endowed the Richard T. Watson Chair in Science and Theology at Harvard Divinity School.
Overall, the Institute has positively shaped our culture with successes such as:
- Filling the United Nations Headquarters with young essayists expressing views against religious violence
- Publishing more than 500 highly cited research journal articles on our topics and 140 books with the finest trade and university presses
- Being featured in more than 5,000 major media venues including the popular "altruism" episode of The Daily Show with John Oliver, taped at Stony Brook
Because of the support of donors like YOU, we have enjoyed 20 years of unique accomplishment, reflecting the special mission of the Institute and the need for it. Major new initiatives for 2021 include:
- The Institute Certificate Program: an online course program on our themes of kindness and love.
- Passing the Torch: selecting top young researchers for a reflective mentoring circle that brings them together virtually with our senior scholars for two years.
- What's Next Discussion Circle: a regular virtual discussion group of Institute members (board Members, donors and friends) that will allow YOUR input on current and future Institute projects.
- Research: Continuing collaborations on remembered experiences of near-death resuscitation & "terminal lucidity" in people with dementia at New York University Langone, generosity and flourishing at Harvard, and the impact of compassion on patient outcomes.
- Public outreach via national radio and podcasts (e.g. Ubiquity University and Coast to Coast).
- Early 2021 publication of Dr. Post's new book for The Johns Hopkins University Press, Dignity for Deeply Forgetful People: Dementia and the Ethics of Care.
To preserve its unique mission long-term, the Institute remains a free-standing and unaffiliated 501(c)(3) non-profit public charity. We have no infra-structure and no one draws salary support. All gifts are used to carry out our mission. Will you send a donation that befits the value of our unique work?
Our seven Institute themes are unchanged since inception and we continue to produce innovative research publications on each of them. Let me express these themes in the form of a meditation, The Giver's Glow: Seven Personal Ways to Heal the Future, the working title of a book in progress. This year we have created "Giving" categories consistent with these themes:
- $100 May you give and glow
- $200 May you heal with kindness
- $300 May you raise kind children
- $400 May you flourish in your calling
- $500 May you know a Source of inner peace
- $1,000 May you find in nature a sacred Gift
- $2,000+ May you live with humility
Here's how you can donate to the Institute.
Can we count on you to join us in this transformational mission? For a donation in any of the above categories you will receive a signed copy of one of Dr. Post's books: either Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Longer Life Through the Simple Act of Giving, or God and Love on Rt. 80: The Hidden Mystery of Human Connectedness.
"I am pleased to see that the noted author Dr. Stephen Post is addressing themes such as consciousness and interconnectedness in his new book, God and Love on Rt. 80. It is my hope that this book will contribute to the flourishing of humanity."
- The Dalai Lama
Thank you in advance for your time and attention. Let us hear from you! We welcome your advice and ideas. Contact Dr. Post directly at Stephen.Post@UnlimitedLoveInstitute.org or 216-926-9244 (cell).
Also, I have a new article online at Thrive Global: Love All Means All: How to Live by the Golden Rule and Flourish.
Stephen G. Post, Ph.D., President