Monthly Article Archives: April 2018

Do Generosity and Kindness Change Circuits in the Brain?Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

Children and their Generosity

This past weekend I had the privilege of offering one of the keynotes at a three-day conference in New York City sponsored by the Learning and the Brain organization.  I was very pleased that my presentation was scheduled immediately after a keynote by Dr. Richard Davidson, a renowned neuroscientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Founder and Director of the Center for Healthy Minds.  I have long admired Davidson’s contribution to our understanding of resilience, well-being, and the workings of the brain.   The title of Davidson’s presentation was “Resilience Is a Skill: Perspectives from Affective and Contemplative Neuroscience.”  In his talk and in an article published in the Greater Good Magazine Davidson asserted, “Well-being is a skill.  All of the work that my colleagues and I have been doing leads inevitably to this central conclusion.  Well-being is fundamentally no different than learning to play the cello.  If one practices the skills of well-being, one will get better at it.” Davidson’s position offers an encouraging perspective about the ability of children and adults to become increasingly resilient even as they have encounter significant adversity in their lives.  It is a position that resonates with my own views and is

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