The Goodwill Jar Book Summary - The Goodwill Jar Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro
00:00

The Goodwill Jar summary

Nick O. Rowe

Reflections on Leadership and Legacy

4.4 (76 ratings)
18 mins
Table of Contents

    The Goodwill Jar
    Summary of 5 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 5

    Each of your relationships has a goodwill jar

    A goodwill jar is a concept sometimes used by families – a physical jar placed in a central spot like the kitchen, where members can leave positive messages and affirmations for one another. This idea can also serve as a broader metaphor for tending to our relationships and connections.

    Imagine each of your relationships has an invisible “jar” that represents the foundation of positivity and care underlying that bond. Every time you have a pleasant interaction or do something kind for another person, it’s like making a deposit into the shared goodwill jar. Taking on extra work to help a colleague or washing the dishes after your roommate cooks dinner would be deposits. Of course, sometimes it’s also necessary to make a withdrawal against that accrued goodwill, for example, when delivering constructive criticism that might otherwise be poorly received.

    The fuller the metaphorical jar, the more resilient and durable a relationship will be in the face of conflicts or challenges. When you have a stockpile of goodwill, even difficult conversations can go smoothly and bring you closer – rather than push you apart. However, if your jar with someone is running low, even asking a small favor could feel taxing or overreaching.

    Importantly, tallying the give and take is contrary to the spirit of goodwill. The aim isn’t transactional scorekeeping but rather choosing to be generous and add value without expecting reciprocation each time. That said, if someone is regularly making deposits in your jar while seldom receiving back from you, the imbalance could eventually strain the bond.

    The ideal time for making goodwill deposits is always right now. There’s tremendous truth in the saying “give them flowers while they can still smell them.” We often delay expressing care or praise until it’s too late for the recipient to appreciate it. When it comes to nourishing relationships, give your proverbial flowers while your loved ones are here to enjoy them.

    Additionally, like attracts like when it comes to goodwill. Those who share values and positive mindsets will likely fill each other’s jars without even thinking about it. By surrounding yourself with such people, you create an ecosystem where care and affirmation can flourish.

    Be intentional in considering whose jars could use some deposits today. Whose spirits can you uplift with kind words or selfless support? The goodwill jar is a helpful tool for nurturing the bonds that matter most.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Goodwill Jar?

    Key ideas in The Goodwill Jar

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Goodwill Jar about?

    The Goodwill Jar (2024) offers timeless wisdom on nurturing meaningful relationships and leaving positive legacies by living with an open heart. Overcome feelings of disconnectedness and crisis of purpose by making choices guided by goodwill which create ripple effects of joy.

    The Goodwill Jar Review

    The Goodwill Jar by Nick O. Rowe (2022) is a heartwarming tale of love, forgiveness, and second chances that is sure to resonate with readers. Here's why this book is a gem worth exploring:

    • Delving into the power of forgiveness and redemption, it offers a poignant exploration of human relationships and the ability to heal wounds.
    • Through its emotional depth and relatable characters, the book tackles complex themes with authenticity and sensitivity, creating a memorable reading experience.
    • With its touching narrative and unexpected twists, the story unfolds in a way that keeps readers emotionally invested and eager to uncover the characters' fates.

    Who should read The Goodwill Jar?

    • Professionals struggling to find purpose and connection with their work
    • People longing for more satisfying personal relationships
    • Anyone who could use a dose of positivity and goodwill

    About the Author

    Nick O. Rowe enjoyed a successful 35-year career in executive leadership roles at American Water Works, the largest publicly-traded water and waste utility company in the United States, eventually serving as Senior Vice President prior to retirement.

    Categories with The Goodwill Jar

    Book summaries like The Goodwill Jar

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Goodwill Jar FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Goodwill Jar?

    The main message of The Goodwill Jar is the power of kindness and compassion in transforming lives.

    How long does it take to read The Goodwill Jar?

    Reading time for The Goodwill Jar varies, but on average, it will take a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in under 15 minutes.

    Is The Goodwill Jar a good book? Is it worth reading?

    A heartwarming tale, The Goodwill Jar inspires with its touching story of redemption and the significance of small acts of kindness.

    Who is the author of The Goodwill Jar?

    The author of The Goodwill Jar is Nick O. Rowe.

    What to read after The Goodwill Jar?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Goodwill Jar, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber
    • Reconstructing DEI by Lily Zheng
    • Sula by Toni Morrison
    • The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle
    • Read Write Own by Chris Dixon
    • Make Your Mark by Jocelyn K. Glei
    • The 3.3 Rule by John Briggs
    • Beyond the Pill by Jolene Brighten
    • The 12-Week MBA by Nathan Kracklauer & Bjorn Billhardt
    • Why We Remember by Charan Ranganath