A collection of short, straightforward messages that aim to help people achieve lasting happiness.
With so many people striving to have happy, fulfilling lives, Kumburegedara (Someone Special, 2015) suggests that they shift their focus from the physical aspects of their lives to the spiritual ones. To that end, she shares her thoughts, advice, and encouragement regarding numerous spiritual, though not specifically religious, topics. One overarching theme is the idea of striving for tranquility, both within oneself and in one’s relationships with others. For example, the author advises readers not to spend time on petty things: “Stop and think: ‘Why am I making this simple problem into a bigger problem?’ Think. ‘Should I bring this up and make this happy moment a miserable one for all of us?’ ” Some sections focus on actions to avoid, such as criticizing others and dwelling on mistakes, while others encourage developing virtues, such as honesty, purity, and endurance. Each section is cleanly presented on a single page, consisting of the title theme (such as “Living by Example” or “Mistakes Are Lessons of Wisdom”), a paragraph or two, and a short phrase that summarizes the preceding content. Unfortunately, this concluding phrase often lacks additional substance, such as “Compassion, joy, and wisdom” to end the section titled “Have Compassion, Wisdom, and Joy.” However, the book’s overall simplicity is significant, as embodied in the subject matter (simple concepts in plain language) and the format (half-page sections, separated by plenty of white space). On the one hand, there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking in this book that will truly wow readers. But there is wisdom here that readers will find themselves quietly pondering and applying. Some books use gripping narratives to get their points across; this one uses genuine, uncomplicated, and succinct language to do the same.
A minimalistic book of spiritual advice and wisdom.