Does true human goodness exists? Tuan thinks that human history is like human nature, a bleak black sky. However, the sky has bright stars. Quoting St. Francis of Assisi, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light from a single candle," the point of the book is to remind us of those bright stars--Simone Weil, Albert Schweitzer, Keats, Mozart, Confucius and Socrates (among many others). True, unselfish, geniune altruistic behavior may be hard to find, says Tuan, but the fact that it exists is incredible, transcendent, and inspiring. The author's saavy in diverse fields is impressive.