4 out of 4 stars
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The author's words – "If people apply Buddhist principles of being polite in both words and action in dealing with people and things, they will be wiser and be on the road of success and be able to contribute something meaningful to the society."
In Chapter 1 of Enlighten (Good Advice Part 5), Philip Chan wrote these Buddhist principles in the ninety thoughts on "Developing Personal Character." You can read them all at one time to feel the strength of the Buddhist philosophy or dip into them one at a time to allow for deep thought about each lesson's meaning.
Philip Chan provides in English and Chinese, side by side, words of wisdom passed down from Confucius. "Think good thoughts, say good words, do good deeds" is my own mantra adopted from Buddhism some years ago. I had fun checking the English against the Chinese translation and teaching myself a few characters in Chinese. Up to seventeen basic strokes may appear in any particular Chinese character. There are so many dialects, different writing styles, and marks indicating five spoken tones; it can take your breath away.
Chapter 2 considers the impact that success or failure has on each of us. One can hardly avoid success or failure in life, but how we respond to them brings either happiness or misery. Chapter 2 suggests relaxing in the aftermath of success or failure; remember, when things go well, you are not as good as people say, and when things go wrong, you are not as bad as people say. Philip Chan tells us this is the time to fall back on family and friends; enjoy their company, support, and laughter – laughter is such potent medicine. Go with the flow and forget the success or failure: just be happy, just relax and be happy, relax, be happy... Chapter 2. Seventy thoughts on "Relax, Relax, Relax."
I aspire to the goal of Confucianism about a person's contribution to society. Chapter 3. Fifty-seven thoughts on "Just Smile at Life." If we choose to manage our own lives and deal with "sourness, sweetness, bitterness, and spice," we own our personality as we do with our taste buds. We might as well choose the high road, experience everything, but replace those feelings with calmness, then optimism, then cheerfulness with life itself, so it becomes easier to solve life's problems.
It promotes my feeling of happiness that Philip Chan has collected these principles of Buddhism for us. He has provided a Chinese translation that provides a sense of history, time and place, and honor to an eminent philosopher. His point is – it is our choice; if we apply these principles, we can be happy and contribute to society. OUR CHOICE.
I rate Enlighten (Good Advice Part 5) 4 out of 4 stars for the deep belief embodied in this work and the generosity in delivering it on to the world. I do not rate it 3 out of 4 stars because I find the Chinese/English grammar very charming; it gives me a sense of the time and place when Buddha spoke this wisdom. I choose not to impose my ideas of grammar and style on this work. Preferring to enjoy that authentic sounding voice that Philip Chan evokes. I believe the editing is entirely consistent and appropriate. I found nothing to dislike.
I recommend Enlighten (Good Advice Part 5) to the broadest possible audience of scholars, Chinese and English readers, Y/A's, professionals, spiritual people, and people who need uplifting.
Good Advice Part 5
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