Community//

“We all need a Ruth,” This is my 5 mins & 5Qs with the wonderful James Doty. Neurosurgeon, Founder, & Author

James R. Doty, M.D. is Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University School of Medicine and Founder and Director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. The Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, of which His Holiness the Dalai Lama is the founding benefactor.

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Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart, tells the incredible story of a neurosurgeon’s pursuit to disentangle the secret of the bond between our brains and our hearts. James’s own life exemplifies how each of us can make a difference and how we can make the world a more kindhearted place. I feel it is both a memoir and a metaphysical book and he writes as he is, a deeply caring human. 

“While each of us aspires to change the world sometimes the greatest thing we can do is improve the life of one person and that can be enough.” James Doty.

However, after a life-changing encounter with Ruth, he unlocked the secret of how to become successful. Along the way he learnt lessons of compassion, opening his heart which is ironic as he became a surgeon and he also grew fierce with determination. James’s encounter with Ruth made him realise that despite his background he was his own person and he could do anything he wanted and Jim’s life story beautifully reflects this message and so much more.

Indeed, when I interviewed James one of his responses to one of my questions really touched me. It was concerning the injustice and inequality between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

I told James, “I too want to do something to relieve some of the inequality and injustice in our world but how much I can I do? Can I really make a difference?” This is was his reply…“While each of us aspires to change the world sometimes the greatest thing we can do is improve the life of one person and that can be enough.” James Doty. These precious words changed how I work, what I do and have become my mantra.

This is 5 mins and 5Qs with James Doty

1. What are you reading at the moment? Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Robert Sapolsky

2. What’s keeping you awake at night? The ever-increasing inequality between the haves and have nots.

3. What’s the one thing you can’t live without? Love.

4. What is the hardest thing you overcame? Negative self-talk.

5. How did you get out of your own way ? I am still working on it…

Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart.

James R. Doty aims to support rigorous research on compassion. Dr Doty collaborates with scientists from several disciplines examining the neural bases for compassion and altruism. Besides, Dr Doty is an inventor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. As a philanthropist, he supports many charitable organizations focused on peace and healthcare throughout the world. Additionally, he supports a variety of research initiatives and has provided scholarships and endowed chairs at multiple universities. He serves on the board of a number of non-profit organizations including as Chairman of the Dalai Lama Foundation and is on the International Advisory Board of the Council of the Parliament of the World’s Religions

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