Wednesday, November 10, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Book of Qualities

The Book of Qualities
J. Ruth Gendler

      We live in a society that is focused on quality. A major car manufacturer even uses the word in their marketing campaigns…”Quality is job #!” – Ford Car Company! Why all this emphasis on quality? The word itself stands for, “a degree of excellence”. Thus, if one is to make an excellent product, provide an excellent service, or engage in excellent business products, he or she would be said to be providing “quality” in each of these areas. 
     In a related sense, people are often defined by their individual, unique qualities. Fiery red-hair. Deep blue eyes. A dry sense of humor. Bad breath. You get the point. People have both good and not- so-good qualities that we get the joy (or pain) of experiencing on a day-to-day basis. For example, movie goers always seem to experience of sense of refinement and civility when they watch Sir Sean Connery act in a James Bond movie. He is known for such qualities. What qualities are you know for?
     The Book of Qualities by J. Ruth Gendler is a fascinating, creative look at some of humanities common personal qualities and how they affect our lives. This makes for great reading when dealing with an addiction. Part of recovery is dealing with those qualities (read character defects) that trip us up and make us fall into our addiction. A few of these qualities include, but are not limited to, rage, jealousy, resentment, boredom and fear.
     If you’re looking to understand more about your own inner qualities, this is an excellent book. Each quality is described in about a paragraph or two so it is quick and easy to read. Many of the qualities have artwork as a visual representation of the printed description of that quality. I encourage you to read this little gem of a book. Who knows, in the end you may end up discarding out-of-date qualities and replacing them with new and fresher ones! I’ll end with this quote on ‘Change… “Change is very musical, but sometimes you must listen for a long time before you hear the pattern in his music” (p. 33).

Chris Newcomb - Aftercare Coordinator/Recovery Coach

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