James Doty, M.D. is a neurosurgeon and founder of Project Compassion at the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University. Project Compassion seeks to work with both the Stanford Institute for Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neuroscience and a variety of scientists from a number of disciplines examine the neural bases for compassion and altruism. Just this past July, the Center held its first international conference,“The Science of Compassion:Origin,Measures and Interventions." This was the first international conference of this scale that was devoted to the study of compassion.
Dr. Doty’s life story is illustrative of what it means to live a truly compassionate and selfless life. After growing up in poverty and working hard to become a doctor, Dr. Doty also became incredibly financially successful in the dot-com era. But he committed himself to donating much of his wealth to the schools that gave him his education. Then when the dot-com era went bust and he lost all his wealth, Dr. Doty could have stepped away from his charitable commitment to these schools and he had every reason to do so except for the promises he had already made. Everyone he knew told him it was ok to save himself. Instead, he decided to remain true to his word and his enormous desire to help others. The trust fund he had set up eventually earned $37 million dollars, none of which he kept for himself.
This story only offers a glimpse into Dr. Doty’s heart. He also blogs for the Huffington Post from time to time and this video is a beautiful example of the ideals by which he lives his life moment to moment.
Please join us on February 9 to learn more about the science of compassion from an expert and life practitioner.