The book I have been working on has taken on a more refined direction because of the conversations I have been having with my friends. They have been helpful with the concepts, the wording, the artwork and everything else, but of course, as the one who actually types up the working texts and does the artwork, I must take responsibility for all of the errors.
The grocery store walkthrough seems to be workable, and I have been using that technique in several different situations. It has an easy applicability to many other problems. The 147 sayings of the Ancient Sages of Greece has gone from being two-word descriptors of proper behavior to English representations of what I thought those Classic Greeks were trying to say in that first application of that first fully phonetic language readable by the public.
My version of those ideas developed from a set of prescriptions to a more gentle set of suggestions, but even that felt too directive. The tone of these statements moved from resembling the harsh laws of Hammurabi, on through the lordly phrasing of the Laws of Moses to the somewhat milder statements of Zarathustra. The Seven Sages’ ideas struck me as more like suggestions, but even that mild form of directive seemed too manipulative, and I wanted them to be even milder and within the willful control of the person using them.
Through that developmental state, we came to the feeling that the ideas should be better stated as operational tips given to fully self-conscious beings. The word tips carries the connotation of being an idea that might be applicable to a given person in a given unique situation, but tips are not to be considered anything approaching a Kantian Categorical Imperative. The tips are general rules, and it will be easy to construct mental situations where they are not the best form of action. However, in most situations, they are a good place to begin one’s approach to a problem.
With that formulation developing in the text of the book it became apparent that the title Love Your Life no longer carried the right tone. It has the mild undertone of telling the reader what to do. It tells you, even compels you to “Love” your life, and that forceful command is no longer sought for as a goal of this book. Furthermore, the word love implies a wholly inward complex of actions, and that has a selfish quality that tends to have negative habitual consequences for the person pursuing loving one’s self as a goal.
Those problems with the title are easily avoided by changing it to words that carry an implication closer to the developing life strategy. Since the goal is to develop techniques for creating habits of being kind to other people, and thus learning how to also be kind to one’s self a new title emphasizing that idea was sought. We quickly came to the title of Being Kind. The possible titles How to be kind, or On Being Kind had the tone of telling people what to do. We wanted to avoid all implications that we were telling people anything, even suggesting anything; instead, we were only giving tips on some ideas that we thought had some merit.
The new working title is …
Being Kind – A Way to Approach Health and Happiness.