The title of this book is self-explanatory. It’s full of advice on how to be kind to others. I am sharing a few of my favorite ideas.
The author teaches readers how to say, “No” with grace and respect by using the EDC method.
- Empathize – let the other person know you understand where they are coming from
- Describe – describe the situation from your experience in an objective and rational manner
- Clarify – clarify your needs and how you would like to see the situation progress
This is an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Alloway is a famous rat that dispenses practical advice to humans and animals. Here are a couple of examples.
- Love is difficult because it’s very, very important. Nothing very, very important was every easy.
- If you want him to be your bestest friend, then all you have to do is make it clear that he yours and he can’t do a leave. Pin him down, show him who’s in charge, pee on everything he owns, stability and boundaries are key.
This is book is hilarious and I loved it.
Screwtape is a demon and he is writing letters to his nephew, Wormwood. The letters are meant to help Wormwood, who is fresh out of Tempter’s College, in his endeavors to prevent people from becoming Christians. In the end Wormwood fails and is eaten by the more successful demons.
The advice given by Screwtape was potentially effective, but it was also subtle.
- Church members can be used to keep people away from the Gospel, especially if they behave rudely or practice immorality.
- Family discord, lack of self-examination, and critical thoughts toward others will promote a self-righteous attitude.
- Keep people away from prayer or have them use memorized superficial prayers that can be repeated without meaning.
- Keep people focused on themselves and their own problems to promote selfishness and prevent charitable behavior.
- Keep people focused on personal feelings.
- Teach people to reverence religious objects, so the object replaces God.
- Teach people to view the past as happy and peaceful. Teach them to view the future with dread and hopelessness, so they will believe not even God can save them from certain destruction.
- Create anxiety to prevent people from focusing on God.
- Promote hatred for those who are different from them and hatred for enemies.
- Promote malice towards the people around them and keep benevolence out of their minds.
- Increase temptation during times of struggle, so sin appears to be the best way to elevate depression and inner turmoil.
- If people desire to attend church, help them find one that focuses solely on friendship and self-help topics.
- Teach people to live two parallel lives. Sunday is for church, but during the rest of the week there is no thought of God. This will allow them to live in sin, but still feel self-righteous.
- Lull people into the path of wickedness, “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
- Don’t allow people to be rooted in a church, “if a man can’t be cured of church going, the next best thing is to send him all over the neighborhood looking for the church that ‘suits’ him until he becomes a taster or connoisseur of churches.”
- Promote discord in the church, so the members are arguing over petty things, then they will be unable to teach the gospel with any effectiveness.
- Encourage false spirituality among the people.
My favorite quotes from The Wit & Wisdom of Mark Twain:
- A human being has a natural desire to have more of a good thing than he needs.
- It is our nature to conform; it is a force which not many can successfully resist.
- An uneasy conscience is a hair in the mouth.
- I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.
- Experience is an author’s most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he writes.
- Many a small thing has been made large by advertising.
- Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).
- Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
While I was in New Orleans, I bought a hat with this on it.
According to alligators, we should all:
- Keep a low profile
- Be thick skinned
- Bask in the sun
- Take a bit out of life
This is great advice. Alligators are a lot smarter than I thought.
This book is full of wonderful advice for writers. However, there was one point that really stuck with me.
“The reader is only interested in one page at a time. We must make every single page worth reading.”