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This book is aimed at CEOs, politicians and other powerful people about how real power is not dominating others with your wealth or power, but the power to be happy in the present moment and free from addiction, despair and anger. As sometimes happens when I read his books, the advice seems almost too simplistic to work in the real word in hard situations: breathe to get in sync with your body, the present moment is a wonderful moment, realize there is no self and that others are really you too, and practice compassion toward yourself and others. But then Nhat Hanh tells of being exiled from his home country of Vietnam because the government’s thought he was a danger for teaching peace. They banned his books and kept him out for 40 years. He’s finally allowed back and the communist government tries to thwart his lectures — and he uses the techniques in this book and creates a crack in the state apparatus aligned against him, until by the end of his visit, government officials are packing his lectures to hear him speak about peace and loving kindness. Now that’s power. (It's a very small part of the book.) An anecdote stuck with me: His book “Being Peace” sold a million copies just in South Korea while his book “Touching Peace” only had 10,000 copies printed — if you’re happy with what you accomplished, then what happens afterward is inconsequential. There’s a long appendix where the creator of Patagonia tells about his business philosophy, which fits perfectly with Nhat Hanh’s advice, and how these principles made Patagonia such a power house today. Quote: "Protesting is a kind of help, but it should be done skillfully, so people see it as an act of love and not an attack." Grade: A-
The narration is solid.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
This was my second TNH book and the message (while still amazing) was really a rehashing of the first book. Still, its an incredibly important message and if this would be your first TNH book its probably a great choice. The book has a western narrator, which is both good (definately easier to understand) and bad (lack's TNH's incredible charm). I highly recommend this book - but if it's a second TNH book, be prepared for lots of overlap.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful